Eur J Med Chem 2019 Mar 22;166:291-303. Epub 2019 Jan 22.
Molecular Signaling Lab, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University and BioMediTech, P.O. Box 553, 33101, Tampere, Finland. Electronic address:
Nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR), a member of kinase protein, is emerging as an important target for Glioblastoma (GBM) treatment. Overexpression of NGFR is observed in many metastatic cancers including GBM, promoting tumor migration and invasion. Hydrazones have been reported to effectively interact with receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). We report herein the synthesis of 23 arylhydrazones of active methylene compounds (AHAMCs) compounds and their anti-proliferative activity against GBM cell lines, LN229 and U87. Compound R234, 2-(2-(2,4-dioxopentan-3-ylidene)hydrazineyl)benzonitrile, was identified as the most active anti-neoplastic compound, with the IC value ranging 87 μM - 107 μM. Molecular docking simulations of the synthesized compounds into the active site of tyrosine receptor kinase A (TrkA), demonstrated a strong binding affinity with R234 and concurs well with the obtained biological results. R234 was found to be a negative regulator of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and an enhancer of p53 expression. In addition, R234 treated GBM cells exhibited the downregulation of cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases and other key molecules involved in cell cycle such as CCNE, E2F, CCND, CDK6, indicating that R234 induces cell cycle arrest at G1/S. R234 also exerted its apoptotic effects independent of caspase3/7 activity, in both cell lines. In U87 cells, R234 induced oxidative effects whereas LN229 cells annulled oxidative stress. The study thus concludes that R234, being a negative modulator of RTKs and cell cycle inhibitor, may represent a novel class of anti-GBM drugs.