A novel series of 3-substituted-4-(4-methylthio phenyl)-1H-pyrrole derivatives were synthesized via Van Leusen pyrrole
synthesis. The in vitro anticancer activity against a panel of 16 cancer cell lines and 2 normal cell lines was investigated by MTT assay. It
was found that some of the pyrrole compounds showed similar antiproliferative activity against cancer cells compared with Paclitaxel,
but little impact on normal cell lines, which indicated that the novel pyrrole derivatives could be used as potential anticancer candidates
for possessing both selectivity and good therapeutic efficacy. Structure-activity relationship analysis found that 3-phenylacetyl-4-
(4-methylthio phenyl)-1H-pyrrole derivatives displayed the most strong anticancer activity, among which [4-(4-methylthio phenyl)-1Hpyrrol-
3-yl] (4-methoxy phenyl) methanone (3j) was employed to investigate the effect of these pyrrole analogues on cell cycle by
propidium iodide (PI) staining on cell flow cytometry. Cell necrotic effect of 10.0 µM 3j against MGC80-3 cells were also observed
under fluorescence microscope and transmission electron microscope by ultrathin sections observation.
Keywords: Anticancer activity, MTT assay, Cellular morphology changes, Cell cycle, MGC80-3, Fluorescence microscope, Propidium
iodide staining, 3-Substituted-4-(4-methylthio phenyl)-1H-pyrrole, Ultrathin sections observation, Van Leusen pyrrole synthesis.
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