A series of cinnamylideneacetophenones were synthesized via a modified Claisen-Schmidt condensation reaction and evaluated for cytotoxicity against breast cancer cells using the Alamar Blue™ assay. Derivatives 17 and 18 bearing a 2-nitro group on the B ring, exhibited sub-micromolar cytotoxicity in MCF-7 cells (IC50=71 and 1.9 nM), respectively. Derivative 17 also displayed sub-micromolar (IC50=780 nM) cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-468 cells. Additionally, 17 and 18 displayed significantly less cytotoxicity than the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin in non-tumorigenic MCF-10A cells. This study provides evidence supporting the continued development of nitro-substituted cinnamylideneacetophenones as small molecules to treat breast cancer.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Chalcone derivatives; Cytotoxicity; Estrogen receptor; Leinamycin.
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