In pursuit of a selective hepatocellular carcinoma therapeutic agent: Novel thalidomide derivatives with antiproliferative, antimigratory and STAT3 inhibitory properties

Michael J. Nutt, Yeung Sing Yee, Amanda Buyan, Neil Andrewartha, Ben Corry, George C.T. Yeoh, Scott G. Stewart

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Advanced stage liver cancer is predominantly treated with the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib; however, this therapeutic agent lacks selectivity in its cytotoxic actions and is associated with poor survival outcomes. Herein we report the design and preparation of several thalidomide derivatives, including a variety of novel thioether-containing forms that are especially rare in the literature. Importantly, two of the derivatives described are potent antiproliferative agents with dose-dependent selectivity for tumorigenic liver progenitor cells (LPC) growth inhibition (up to 36% increase in doubling time at 10 μM) over non-tumorigenic cells (no effect at 10 μM). Furthermore, these putative anti-liver cancer agents were also found to be potent inhibitors of tumorigenic LPC migration. This report also describes these derivatives’ effects on several key signalling pathways in our novel liver cell lines by immunofluorescence and AlphaLISA assays. Aryl thioether derivative 7f significantly reduced STAT3 phosphorylation (23%) and its nuclear localisation (16%) at 10 μM in tumorigenic LPCs, implicating the IL-6/JAK/STAT3 axis is central in the mode of action of our derivatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113353
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume217
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2021

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