Letafat, B., Shakeri, R., Emami, S., Mohammadhosseini, N., Shirkavand, N., Ardestani, SK., Safavi, M., Samadizadeh, M., Letafat, A., Shafiee, A., Foroumadi, A.
Iran J. Basic Med. Sci. 2013;16(11): 1155-62. (ISI:0.24)

Objective(s): Chalcones and their rigid analogues represent an important class of small molecules having anticancer activities. Therefore, in this study the synthesis and cytotoxic activity of new 3-benzylidenchroman-4-ones were described as rigid chalcone analogues.

Materials and Methods: The reaction of resorcinol with 3-chloropropionic acid in the presence of CF3SO3H was afforded corresponding propiophenone. It was cyclized using 2M NaOH to give 7-hydroxy-4-chromanone. O-Alkylation of 7-hydroxy-4-chromanone with alkyl iodide in the presence of K2CO3 gave 7-alkoxychroman-4-one. Finally, condensation of chroman-4-one derivatives with different aldehydes afforded target compounds in good yields. The newly synthesized compounds were tested in vitro against different human cancer cell lines including K562 (human erythroleukemia), MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer), and SK-N-MC (human neuroblastoma) cells. The cell viability was evaluated using MTT colorimetric assay.

Results: Most of the compounds showed good inhibitory activity against cancer cells. Among them, compound 4a containing 7-hydroxy group on chromanone ring and 3-bromo-4-hydroxy-5-methoxy substitution pattern on benzylidene moiety was the most potent compound with IC50 values ≤ 3.86 µg/ml. It was 6-17 times more potent than etoposide against tested cell lines.

Conclusion: We described synthesis and cytotoxic activity of poly-functionalized 3-benzylidenechroman-4-ones as new chalcone-like agents. These compounds can be considered as conformationally constrained congeners of chalcones to tolerate the poly-functionalization on the core structures for further optimization.


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