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We present here-in the molecular design and chemical synthesis of a novel series of diindoloazepinone derivatives as DNA minor groove binding agents with selective topoisomerase I inhibition. The in vitro cytotoxicity of the synthesized compounds was evaluated against four human cancer cell lines including DU143, HEPG2, RKO and A549 in addition to non-cancerous immortalized human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293). Compound 11 showed significant cytotoxicity against all the four human cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 4.2 to 6.59 μM. 11 was also found to display 13-fold selective cytotoxicity towards A549 cancerous cells compared to the non-cancerous cell lines (HEK-293). The decatenation, DNA relaxation and intercalation assays revealed that the investigational compounds 10 and 11 act as highly selective inhibitors of Topo-I with DNA minor groove binding ability which was also supported by the results obtained from circular dichroism (CD), UV-visible spectroscopy and viscosity studies. Apoptosis induced by the lead 11 was observed using morphological observations, AO/EB and DAPI staining procedures. Further, dose-dependent increase in the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane was also observed through JC-1 staining. Annexin V-FITC/PI assay confirmed that 11 induced early apoptosis. Additionally, cell cycle analysis indicated that the cells were arrested at sub-G1 phase. Gratifyingly, in silico studies demonstrated promising interactions of 11 with the DNA and Topo I, thus supporting their potential DNA minor groove binding property with relatively selective Topo I inhibition compared to Topo II. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Manasa Kadagathur, G Parimala Devi, Preeti Grewal, Dilep Kumar Sigalapalli, Priyanka N Makhal, Uttam Chand Banerjee, Nagendra Babu Bathini, Neelima D Tangellamudi. Novel diindoloazepinone derivatives as DNA minor groove binding agents with selective topoisomerase I inhibition: Design, synthesis, biological evaluation and docking studies. Bioorganic chemistry. 2020 Jun;99:103629

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PMID: 32272367

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