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Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Sep 15;19(18):5670-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.07.021. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Anthraquinone derivatives induce G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in NTUB1 cells.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan, ROC.


Thirteen anthraquinone derivatives 5-17 including two 3-(3-alkylaminopropoxy)-9,10-anthraquinone (NHA) derivatives 5 and 6, and 11 1-hydroxy-3-(3-alkylaminopropoxy)-9,10-anthraquinone (MHA) derivatives 7-17 were synthesized, evaluated for cytotoxicities against two cancer cell lines, and assayed the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in NTUB1 cells (a human bladder carcinoma cell line). Compound 9 bearing a pyrrolidinyl group induced the stronger cytotoxic effect than those of other synthesized NHA and MHA derivatives. Exposure of NTUB1 cells to 9, 13, and 17 for 24h significantly increased the production of ROS, respectively. Flow cytometric analysis exhibited that the exposure of NTUB1 cells to the selective 9 led to the G2/M phase arrest accompanied by an increase of apoptotic cell death after the incubation for 24h. Compound 9 induced up-regulation of cyclinB1 and p21 expressions. Biological results suggested that the induction of G2/M arrest, apoptosis, and cell death by 9 may associate with increased expression of p21 and cyclin B1, elevation of Bax and p53 levels, and generation of ROS in the cell. In conclusion, these series of compounds may be used as anticancer agents.

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