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Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Harmirins, Novel Harmine–Coumarin Hybrids as Potential Anticancer Agents

Pavić, Kristina; Beus, Maja; Poje, Goran; Uzelac, Lidija; Kralj, Marijeta; Rajić, Zrinka (2021) Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Harmirins, Novel Harmine–Coumarin Hybrids as Potential Anticancer Agents. Molecules, 26 (21). ISSN 1420-3049

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As cancer remains one of the major health burdens worldwide, novel agents, due to the development of resistance, are needed. In this work, we designed and synthesized harmirins, which are hybrid compounds comprising harmine and coumarin scaffolds, evaluated their antiproliferative activity, and conducted cell localization and cell cycle analysis experiments. Harmirins were prepared from the corresponding alkynes and azides under mild reaction conditions using Cu(I) catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition, leading to the formation of the 1H-1, 2, 3-triazole ring. Antiproliferative activity of harmirins was evaluated in vitro against four human cancer cell lines (MCF-7, HCT116, SW620, and HepG2) and one human non-cancer cell line (HEK293T). The most pronounced activities were exerted against MCF-7 and HCT116 cell lines (IC50 in the single-digit micromolar range), while the most selective harmirins were 5b and 12b, substituted at C-3 and O-7 of the β-carboline core and bearing methyl substituent at position 6 of the coumarin ring (SIs > 7.2). Further experiments demonstrated that harmirin 12b is localized exclusively in the cytoplasm. In addition, it induced a strong G1 arrest and reduced the percentage of cells in the S phase, suggesting that it might exert its antiproliferative activity through inhibition of DNA synthesis, rather than DNA damage. In conclusion, harmirin 12b is a novel harmine and coumarin hybrid with significant antiproliferative activity and warrants further evaluation as a potential anticancer agent.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: harmine ; β-carboline ; coumarin ; triazole ; antiproliferative activity ; cell cycle analysis
Divisions: Division of Molecular Medicine
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Derivati harmina kao potencijalni antimalariciRajić Džolić, ZrinkaUIP-2017-05-5160HRZZ
Depositing User: Lidija Uzelac
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2021 14:14
DOI: 10.3390/molecules26216490

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