RESEARCH ARTICLE


Biological Evaluation and Reverse Pharmacophore Mapping of Innovative Bis-Triazoles as Promising Anticancer Agents



Maysaa M. Saleh1, *, Amjad N. Abuirmeileh1, Rabaa M. Al-Rousan1, Suha M. Abudoleh2, Loay K. Hassouneh2, Malek A. Zihlif3, Mutasem O. Taha4, Reem F. Abutayeh5, Hebah Mansour2, Bashaer Abu-Irmaileh6
1 Department of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Isra University, Amman 11622, Jordan
2 Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Isra University, Amman 11622, Jordan
3 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
4 Department of Pharmaceutical Science, School of Pharmacy, University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
5 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Applied Science Private University, Amman 11931, Jordan
6 Hamdi Mango Center for Scientific Research, University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Saleh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Isra University, Amman 11622, Jordan; maysaa.saleh@iu.edu.jo.


Abstract

Here, we describe further cytotoxic studies and reverse pharmacophore mapping (pharmacophore profiling) for bis-triazoles MS44-53, which were designed and synthesized previously to stabilize the G-quadruplex nucleic acids capable of being formed at the telomeric region and promoter sequences of genes involved in cellular proliferation and oncogenes. Pharmacophore-based activity profiling screen demonstrated some biological targets that MS44-53 may modulate their biological response, and thus can be considered as potential drugs to treat different kinds of diseases, such as carcinoma, diabetes type II, bacterial infection and cardiovascular diseases. Potent cell growth inhibitory properties were shown by ligands MS47 and MS49 against human melanoma MDA-MB-435, colon cancer HCT-116 and COLO 205, and pancreatic cancer MIA PaCa-2 cell lines, as evidenced by MTT assay. Both ligands were more potent against cancer cells than in skin normal CCD-1064Sk fibroblasts.

Aim:

The aim of this study is to identify the molecular target and mechanism of action of our promising anticancer bis-triazoles MS44-53, focusing specifically on the G-quadruplex stabilizers MS47 and MS49.

Background:

In molecular biology, G-quadruplexes (also known as G4-DNA), one of the higher-order structures of polynucleotides, are four stranded structures formed by nucleic acid sequences which are rich in guanine. They are formed mainly at the single-stranded G-overhang of telomeric DNA and within promoter sequences of genes involved in cellular proliferation and oncogenes such as c-myc, c-kit, and Hsp90. Stabilization of DNA G-quadruplexes is one of the anticancer strategies that has the potential to treat all cancers regardless of the type. A new series of bis-triazoles MS44-53 were developed to stabilize G-quadruplex structures selectively, as G4 ligands and experimental antitumour agents. FRET assay showed that MS47 and MS49 were only the best binders towards the Hsp90 promoter G-guadruplexes. While all bis-triazoles MS44-53 exhibited potent cell growth inhibitory activity against human carcinoma cell lines, suggesting that the ligands perturb molecular targets and mechanisms of action, other than stabilizing G-quadruplexes, contributing to antitumor activity. Therefore, the molecular targets and mechanisms of action of bis-triazoles MS44-53 in different types of human cancer cell lines should be determined by performing further computational studies to MS44-53 and in vitro evaluations for the G-quadruplex stabilizers MS47 and MS49.

Objectives:

1- Determining the exact IC50 for bis-triazoles MS47 & MS49 against four different types of human cancer cell lines; melanoma MDA-MB-435, pancreatic cancer MIA PaCa-2, and colon cancer HCT-116 and COLO 205 cell lines.

2- Predicting the biological targets that bis-triazoles MS44-53 may interact with to trigger or block their biological response.

Methods:

1- MTT assay was used for in vitro evaluation of the antiproliferative activities of MS47 and MS49, and determination of IC50 values.

2- Reverse pharmacophore mapping (pharmacophore profiling) was used for predicting the biological targets of bis-triazoles MS44-53, and determining the % binding probabilities.

Results:

MS49 exhibited more potent proliferation inhibitory activity than MS47 and higher IC50 value against skin normal fibroblasts. Pharmacophore profiling demonstrated FGFR1, PDGFR2, FLT3, mTOR, PPAR-gamma, MUR-F and CETP as biological targets for bis-triazoles MS44-53.

Conclusion:

Bis-triazoles MS47 and MS49 are promising selective innovative compounds with wide spectrum cytotoxic activities against distinct cancer types. Bis-triazoles MS44-53 can be considered as potential drugs to treat different types of carcinoma, in addition to diabetes type II, bacterial infection and cardiovascular diseases.

Other:

Further in vitro evaluations will be performed for bis-triazoles MS44-53 in order to identify their molecular targets and mechanisms of action in different types of human cancer cell lines.

Keywords: Bis-triazoles, Telomere, G-quadruplex, Cell lines, MTT assay, Reverse pharmacophore mapping.