Background: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer type in women globally. It is
characterized by distinct subtypes depending on different gene expression patterns. Oncogene
HER2 is expressed on the surface of cell and is responsible for cell growth regulation. Increase in
HER2 receptor protein due to gene amplification, results in aggressive growth, and high metastasis
in cancer cells.
Methods: The current study evaluates and compares the anti-breast cancer effect of commercially
available compounds against HER2 overexpressing BT-474, and triple negative MDA-MB-231
breast cancer cell lines.
Results: Preliminary in vitro cell viability assays on these cell lines identified 6 lead molecules active
against breast cancer. Convallatoxin (4), a steroidal lactone glycoside, showed the most potent
activity with IC50 values of 0.63 ± 0.56, and 0.69 ± 0.59 µM against BT-474 and MDA-MB-231,
respectively, whereas 4-[4-(Trifluoromethyl)-phenoxy] phenol (3) a phenol derivative, and Reserpine
(5) an indole alkaloid selectively inhibited the growth of BT-474, and MDA-MB-231 breast
cancer cells, respectively.
Conclusion: These results exhibited the potential of small molecules in the treatment of HER2
amplified and triple negative breast cancers in vitro.