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Discovery Of Novel Diarylamide N-Containing Heterocyclic Derivatives As New Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitors With Anti-Cancer Activity

Xu Liu, Xiao-Jing Pang, Yuan Liu, Wen-Bo Liu, Yin-Ru Li, Guang-Xi Yu, Yan-Bing Zhang, Jian Song, Sai-Yang Zhang

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Tubulin has been regarded as an attractive and successful molecular target in cancer therapy and drug discovery. Vicinal diaryl is a simple scaffold found in many colchicine site tubulin inhibitors, which is also an important pharmacophoric point of tubulin binding and anti-cancer activity. As the continuation of our research work on colchicine binding site tubulin inhibitors, we designed and synthesized a series of diarylamide N-containing heterocyclic derivatives by the combination of vicinal diaryl core and N-containing heterocyclic skeletons into one hybrid though proper linkers. Among of these compounds, compound 15b containing a 5-methoxyindole group exhibited the most potent inhibitory activity against the tested three human cancer cell lines (MGC-803, PC-3 and EC-109) with IC50 values of 1.56 μM, 3.56 μM and 14.5 μM, respectively. Besides, the SARs of these compounds were preliminarily studied and summarized. The most active compound 15b produced the inhibition of tubulin polymerization in a dose-dependent manner and caused microtubule network disruption in MGC-803 cells. Therefore, compound 15b was identified as a novel tubulin polymerization inhibitor targeting the colchicine binding site. In addition, the results of molecular docking also suggested compound 15b could tightly bind into the colchicine binding site of β-tubulin.