Structural optimization of 4-(imidazol-5-yl)pyridine derivatives affords broad-spectrum anticancer agents with selective B-RAFV600E/p38α kinase inhibitory activity: Synthesis, in vitro assays and in silico study

Eslam M.H. Ali, Karim I. Mersal, Usama M. Ammar, Seyed Omar Zaraei, Mohammed S. Abdel-Maksoud, Mohammed I. El-Gamal, Md Mamunul Haque, Tanuza Das, Eunice Eun Kyeong Kim, Jun Seok Lee, Kwan Hyi Lee, Hee Kwon Kim, Chang Hyun Oh

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Abstract

In the current article, we introduce design of a new series of 4-(imidazol-5-yl)pyridines with improved anticancer activity and selective B-RAFV600E/p38α kinase inhibitory activity. Based on a previous work, a group of structural modifications were applied affording the new potential antiproliferative agents. Towards extensive biological assessment of the target compounds, an in vitro anticancer assay was conducted over NCI 60-cancer cell lines panel representing blood, lung, colon, CNS, skin, ovary, renal, prostate, and breast cancers. Compounds 7c, 7d, 8b, 9b, 9c, 10c, 10d, and 11b exhibited the highest potency among the tested compounds and demonstrated sub-micromolar or one-digit micromolar GI50 values against the majority of the employed cell lines. Compound 10c emerged as the most potent agent with nano-molar activity over most of the cells and incredible activity against melanoma (MDA-MB-435) cell line (GI50 70 nM). It is much more potent than sorafenib, the clinically used anticancer drug, against almost all the NCI-60 cell lines. Further cell-based mechanistic assays showed that compound 10c induced cell cycle arrest and promoted apoptosis in K562, MCF-7 and HT29 cancer cell lines. In addition, compound 10c induced autophagy in the three cancer cell lines. Kinase profiling of 10c showed its inhibitory effects and selectivity towards B-RAFV600E and p38α kinases with IC50 values of 1.84 and 0.726 µM, respectively. Docking of compound 10c disclosed its high affinity in the kinases pockets. Compound 10c represent a promising anticancer agent, that could be optimized in order to improve its kinase activity aiming at developing potential anticancer agents. The conformational stability of compound 10c in the active site of B-RAFV600E and p38α kinases was studied by applying molecular dynamic simulation of the compound in the two kinases for 600 ns in comparison to the native ligands.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106115
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Volume171
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 1

Keywords

  • Anticancer
  • BRAF
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Imidazolylpyridine
  • Molecular modeling
  • p38α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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