Background: Compounds containing the quinazoline-4(3H)-one framework constitute an important
class of fused N-heterocycles that are found in more than 200 naturally occurring alkaloids. These compounds
also show a diverse range of pharmacological activities including antitumor properties. This prompted us to
explore a series of quinazolin-4-(3H)-one derivatives having no substituent at C-2 as potential cytotoxic agents.
Objective: The objective of this study was to synthesize and evaluate 3-substituted quinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives
for their potential cytotoxic properties.
Methods: A convenient method has been developed for the rapid synthesis of this class of compounds under a
mild and non-hazardous reaction condition in good yields. The methodology involved a three-component reaction
employing isatoic anhydride, amines and glyoxylic acid as reactants in the presence of lemon juice in PEG-
400 at room temperature (25-30ºC) under ultrasound irradiation. All the synthesized compounds were screened
via an MTT assay for their potential cytotoxic properties in vitro using the cancerous cell lines e.g. A549,
A2780, HepG2, K562, MCF-7 and HCT-116 and a non-cancerous HEK293 cell line.
Results: Several compounds such as 3a, 3b, 3d, 3e and 3f showed promising growth inhibition against these
cancer cell lines but no significant effects on HEK293 cell line. The IC50 values of these compounds were comparable
to doxorubicin whereas 3f significantly induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells that also was comparable to
Conclusion: An ultrasound-assisted MCR facilitated by lemon juice has been developed to synthesize 3-
substituted quinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives that could act as potential anticancer agents.