Two new diastereomeric lignan amides (4 and 5) serving as dimeric caffeic acid-l-DOPA hybrids were synthesized. The synthesis involved the FeCl3-mediated phenol oxidative coupling of methyl caffeate to afford trans-diester 1a as a mixture of enantiomers, protection of the catechol units, regioselective saponification, coupling with a suitably protected l-DOPA derivative, separation of the two diastereomers thus obtained by flash column chromatography and finally global chemoselective deprotection of the catechol units. The effect of hybrids 4 and 5 and related compounds on the proliferation of two breast cancer cell lines with different metastatic potential and estrogen receptor status (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) and of one epithelial lung cancer cell line, namely A-549, was evaluated for concentrations ranging from 1 to 256 μM and periods of treatment of 24, 48 and 72 h. Both hybrids showed interesting and almost equipotent antiproliferative activities (IC50 64-70 μM) for the MDA-MB-231 cell line after 24-48 h of treatment, but they were more selective and much more potent (IC50 4-16 μM) for the MCF-7 cells after 48 h of treatment. The highest activity for both hybrids and both breast cancer lines was observed after 72 h of treatment (IC50 1-2 μM), probably as the result of slow hydrolysis of their methyl ester functions.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Antiproliferative activity
- Phenol oxidative coupling