Design, Synthesis, and Molecular Modeling Studies of a Novel Benzimidazole as an Aromatase Inhibitor

ACS Omega. 2022 Apr 28;7(18):16152-16163. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c01497. eCollection 2022 May 10.


In this study, a series of novel 1,3,4-oxadiazole-benzimidazole derivatives were designed and synthesized. Their cytotoxic activities against five cancer cell lines, including A549, MCF-7, C6, HepG2, and HeLa, were evaluated by the MTT assay. The compounds 5b,c showed satisfactory potencies with much higher anticancer activity in comparison to the reference drug doxorubicin against the studied cancer cell lines. In vitro, enzymatic inhibition assays of aromatase (ARO) enzymes were performed. Molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, and binding free energy analyses were used to better understand the structure-activity connections and mechanism of action of the aromatase inhibitors. Two types of satisfactory 3D-QSAR (CoMFA and CoMSIA) models were generated, to predict the inhibitory activities of the novel inhibitors. Molecular docking studies were also carried out to find their binding sites and types of their interactions with the aromatase enzyme. Additionally, molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the most likely binding modes of compounds 5b,c with CYP19A1.