Send to

Choose Destination
Med Chem Res. 2014 Sep;23(9):4177-4188.

Novel non-cyclooxygenase inhibitory derivatives of naproxen for colorectal cancer chemoprevention.

Author information

Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.
Drug Discovery Research Center, Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36604, USA.
Department of Biochemistry, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Assiut University, Assiut 71526, Egypt.


A structure-based medicinal chemistry strategy was applied to design new naproxen derivatives that show growth inhibitory activity against human colon tumor cells through a cyclooxygenase (COX)-independent mechanism. In vitro testing of the synthesized compounds against the human HT-29 colon tumor cell line revealed enhanced growth inhibitory activity compared to the parent naproxen with 3a showing IC50 of 11.4 μM (two orders of magnitude more potent than naproxen). Selectivity of 3a was investigated against a panel of three tumor and one normal colon cell lines and showed up to six times less toxicity against normal colonocytes. Compound 3a was shown to induce dose-dependent apoptosis of HT116 colon tumor cells as evidenced by measuring the activity of caspases-3 and 7. None of the synthesized compounds showed activity against COX-1 or COX-2 isozymes, confirming a COX-independent mechanism of action. Compound 3k was found to have no ulcerogenic effect in rats as indicated by electron microscope scanning of the stomach after oral administration. A pharmacophore model was developed for elucidating structure-activity relationships and subsequent chemical optimization for this series of compounds as colorectal cancer chemopreventive drugs.


Apoptosis; Chemoprevention; Colorectal cancer; Cyclooxygenase; NSAIDs; Naproxen; Pharmcophore; Ulcerogenicity

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center