Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a main reason of chemotherapy failure in many patients and is often related to overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, including P-glycoprotein (P-gp/ABCB1). Agents that are capable of modulation of the activity of these transporters might be effective in overcoming MDR. In this study, a new set of 1,4,5,6,7,8-hexahydro 5-oxo quinoline-3-carboxamide derivatives bearing 4-methylthiazole moiety and their tetrahydroquinoline counterparts were synthesized. MDR reversal activity of these 16 newly synthesized derivatives was tested in P-gp overexpressing MES-SA-DX5 human uterine sarcoma cells by flow cytometric determination of Rhodamine123 efflux. The effect of the most potent compounds in induction of apoptosis and alterations of cell cycle was examined in these cells by a flow cytometric method. Inherent cytotoxicity of the synthesized compounds was evaluated against MCF-7, A-549 and K562 cancer cell lines, as well as MES-SA-DX5 and their parental non-resistant MES-SA and also HEK-293 non-cancerous cells by MTT assay. Compounds A1 and A2 with 5-oxo-hexahydroquinoline structure bearing 2,4-dichlorophenyl and 4-bromophenyl moieties, respectively, and their tetrahydroquinoline counterparts B1 and B2 significantly blocked P-gp efflux, induced apoptosis and showed the highest cytotoxicities against MES-SA-DX5 cells. However, only A2 and B2 compounds were relatively selective against cancer and MDR cells as compared to non-resistant and non-cancerous cells. These findings demonstrate that 5-oxo-hexahydroquinoline and 5-oxo-tetrahydroquinoline derivatives represent promising agents with therapeutic potential in drug resistant cancers.
Keywords: 1,4-dihydropyridine; anticancer drug resistance; antiproliferative agents; drug design; efflux pumps.