Background: Current drugs used for the treatment of hormone dependent breast cancer function as anti-estrogens in the breast, in addition to Estrogen Receptor (ER) agonists in the uterus, thus elevating a woman’s risk of developing uterine cancer. This is due to the lack of selective binding and partial agonistic effect of these drugs towards estrogen receptors. In recent years, therefore, researchers have turned their attention towards antiestrogens devoid of these agonist properties and thus have a mechanism of action different from the existing drugs.
Objective: In this context, we report here the design, development and in-vitro evaluation of some novel pharmacophores containing coumarin and fatty acid scaffolds for their anti-breast cancer activity.
Methods: A library of coumarin-fatty acid conjugates was designed using structure based drug design approach. The conjugates which have showed good in silico results were then synthesized, characterized and evaluated for their anti-breast cancer activity by MTT assay, Apoptotic assay, Cell proliferation assay, Estrogen binding assay and Gene expression study. Results: Out of the fifteen compounds screened, two compounds, SAC-2 and LNAC-2, showed good activity with IC50 values 22µg/ml, 25µg/ml, respectively. These compounds suppressed the proliferation of ER over expressed MCF-7 cells, increased ERα degradation and hence inactivate the ERα pathway. ER binding assay and gene expression RT-PCR study reveal that SAC-2, downregulated the expression of ERα receptor and AKT-1 gene.
Conclusion: Compound SAC-2 is a good antagonist to ER and hence has a potential for treating breast cancer and other cancers where AKT play as an important role.