Design, synthesis and antitumour evaluation of novel anthraquinone derivatives

Kai Wei Lin*, Wei Hong Lin, Chun Li Su, Hsue Yin Hsu, Chun Nan Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We report the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of 13 new and 1 known anthraquinone derivatives which exerted cytotoxicity against PC3, A549 and NTUB1 cell lines. The results indicate that, among these 14, compounds-1 and 14 showed the highest growth inhibitory effect on NTUB1 and PC3 cells, respectively. Compound-1 at lower doses targets DNA, induces DNA damage and subsequently triggers G2/M arrest and apoptotic cell death at 24 h. Previously we reported that 14 induced PC3 cell autophagy and in treated PC3 cells, cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP, and survivin did not increase and increase, respectively. The autophagic and necrotic cell deaths mediated by 14-triggered ROS generation. Our study is the first to investigate the biological mechanism of 14 action in detail. We find that when 14 was co-administrated with Bafilomycin A1 (BAF) in PC3 cells, rapid necrotic cell death occurred with no cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP activation and increasing the expression of survivin. We further show that necrotic signaling in these cells coincided with production of reactive oxygen species. In the present study, we developed methods to synthesize five new 14 analogues for studing the structure-activity relationships. This study could provide valuable sight to find new antitumor agents for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104395
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb


  • 1-Hydroxy-3-[(E)-4-(piperazine-diium)but-2-enyloxy]-9,10-anthraquinone ditrifluoroacetate
  • Antitumour agents
  • NTUB1 cells
  • Necrosis
  • PC3 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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