Scaffold Hopping and Structural Modification of NSC 663284: Discovery of Potent (Non)Halogenated Aminobenzoquinones

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Bayrak N., Sever B., Ciftci H., Otsuka M., Fujita M., Tuyun A. F.

BIOMEDICINES, vol.12, no.1, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/biomedicines12010050
  • Journal Name: BIOMEDICINES
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The development of new anticancer drugs is still ongoing as a solution to the unsatisfactory results obtained by chemotherapy patients. Our previous studies on natural product-based anticancer agents led us to synthesize a new series of Plastoquinone (PQ) analogs and study their anticancer effects. Four members of PQ analogs (PQ1-4) were designed based on the scaffold hopping strategy; the design was later completed with structural modification. The obtained PQ analogs were synthesized and biologically evaluated against different cancer genotypes according to NCI-60 screening in vitro. According to the NCI results, bromo and iodo-substituted PQ analogs (PQ2 and PQ3) showed remarkable anticancer activities with a wide-spectrum profile. Among the two selected analogs (PQ2 and PQ3), PQ2 showed promising anticancer activity, in particular against leukemia cell lines, at both single- and five-dose NCI screenings. This compound was also detected by MTT assay to reveal significant selectivity between Jurkat cells and PBMC (healthy) compared to imatinib. Further in silico studies indicated that PQ2 was able to occupy the ATP-binding cleft of Abl TK, one of the main targets of leukemia, through key interactions similar to dasatinib and imatinib. PQ2 is also bound to the minor groove of the double helix of DNA. Based on computational pharmacokinetic studies, PQ2 possessed a remarkable drug-like profile, making it a potential anti-leukemia drug candidate for future studies.