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Open AccessArticle

Novel Homo-Bivalent and Polyvalent Compounds Based on Ligustrazine and Heterocyclic Ring as Anticancer Agents

by Jiawen Wang 1,†, Ge Hong 2,3,†, Guoliang Li 2, Wenzhi Wang 2 and Tianjun Liu 1,2,3,*
Graduate Institute, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 301617, China
Tianjin Key Laboratory of Biomedical Materials, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin 300192, China
State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Functions of Natural Medicines, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Qiao-Hong Chen
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4505;
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 December 2019 / Published: 9 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Agents: Design, Synthesis and Evaluation)
Bivalent and polyvalent inhibitors can be used as antitumor agents. In this experiment, eight ligustrazine dimers and seven ligustrazine tetramers linked by alkane diamine with different lengths of carbon chain lengths were synthesized. After screening their antiproliferation activities against five cancer cell lines, most ligustrazine derivatives showed better cytotoxicity than the ligustrazine monomer. In particular, ligustrazine dimer 8e linked with decane-1,10-diamine exhibited the highest cytotoxicity in FaDu cells with an IC50 (50% inhibiting concentration) value of 1.36 nM. Further mechanism studies suggested that 8e could induce apoptosis of FaDu cells through the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential and S-phase cell cycle arrest. Inspired by these results, twenty-seven additional small molecule heterocyclic dimers linked with decane-1,10-diamine and nine cinnamic acid dimers bearing ether chain were synthesized and screened. Most monocyclic and bicyclic aromatic systems showed highly selective anti-proliferation activity to FaDu cells and low toxicity to normal MCF 10A cells. The structure-activity relationship revealed that the two terminal amide bonds and the alkyl linker with a chain length of 8–12 carbon were two important factors to maintain its antitumor activity. In addition, the ADMET calculation predicted that most of the potent compounds had good oral bioavailability. View Full-Text
Keywords: bivalency; polyvalency; antitumor; apoptosis; cell cycle bivalency; polyvalency; antitumor; apoptosis; cell cycle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, J.; Hong, G.; Li, G.; Wang, W.; Liu, T. Novel Homo-Bivalent and Polyvalent Compounds Based on Ligustrazine and Heterocyclic Ring as Anticancer Agents. Molecules 2019, 24, 4505.

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