Lipidic synthetic alkaloids as SK3 channel modulators. Synthesis and biological evaluation of 2-substituted tetrahydropyridine derivatives with potential anti-metastatic activity

Eur J Med Chem. 2020 Jan 15;186:111854. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.111854. Epub 2019 Nov 9.


Small Conductance Calcium (Ca2+)-activated potassium (K+) channels (SKCa) are now proved to be involved in many cancer cell behaviors such as proliferation or migration. The SK3 channel isoform was particularly described in breast cancer where it can be associated with the Orai1 Ca2+ channel to form a complex that regulates the Ca2+ homeostasis during tumor development and acts as a potent mediator of bone metastases development in vivo. Until now, very few specific blockers of Orai1 and/or SK3 have been developed as potential anti-metastatic compounds. In this study, we illustrated the synthesis of new families of lipophilic pyridine and tetrahydropyridine derivatives designed as potential modulators of SK3 channel. The toxicity of the newly synthesized compounds and their migration effects were evaluated on the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-435s. Two molecules (7a and 10c) demonstrated a significant decrease in the SK3 channel-dependent migration as well as the SK3/Orai1-related Ca2+ entry. Current measurements showed that these compounds are more likely SK3-selective. Taken all together these results suggest that such molecules could be considered as promising anti-metastatic drugs in breast cancer.

Keywords: Amphiphilic compounds; Breast cancer; Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels; Cell migration; SK3; Tetrahydropyridine derivatives.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / chemical synthesis
  • Alkaloids / chemistry
  • Alkaloids / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Lipids / pharmacology*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Pyrrolidines / chemical synthesis
  • Pyrrolidines / chemistry
  • Pyrrolidines / pharmacology*
  • Small-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Alkaloids
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Small-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels