Design, synthesis, and mechanism of action of 2-(3-hydroxy-5-methoxyphenyl)-6-pyrrolidinylquinolin-4-one as a potent anticancer lead

Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Sep 15;23(18):5223-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.06.083. Epub 2013 Jul 4.


New 6- (or 6,7-) substituted 2-(hydroxyl substituted phenyl)quinolin-4-one derivatives were synthesized and screened for antiproliferative effects against cancer cell lines. Structure-activity relationship correlations were established and the most promising compound 2-(3-hydroxy-5-methoxyphenyl)-6-pyrrolidin-1-ylquinolin-4-one (6h) exhibited strong inhibitory activity against various human cancer cell lines, particularly non-small cell lung cancer NCI-H522. Additional studies suggested a mechanism of action resembling that of the antimitotic drug vincristine. The presence of a C-ring OH group in 6h will allow this compound to be converted readily to a water soluble and physicochemically stable hydrophilic prodrug. Compound 6h is proposed as a new anticancer lead compound.

Keywords: 2-(Hydroxyphenyl)quinolin-4-one derivatives; Anticancer lead development; Antiproliferative activity; Prodrug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Pyrrolidines / chemical synthesis
  • Pyrrolidines / chemistry
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology*
  • Quinolones / chemical synthesis
  • Quinolones / chemistry
  • Quinolones / pharmacology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • 2-(3-hydroxy-5-methoxyphenyl)-6-pyrrolidinylquinolin-4-one
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Quinolones