Background: Phenylpropylene biosynthesis pathway plays a crucial role in the vanillin and
their derivative(s) production in the plants. The intermediate of vanillin synthesis i.e. cinnamic acid
(CA) is converted into 2-Hydroxy 4-MethoxyBenzaldehyde (HMB) in Decalepis arayalpathra having
a number of therapeutic value.
Objective: Microwave-assisted modifications in cinnamic acid were planned for potential anticancer
properties with better yield and efficiency. The present study also confirms the presence of HMB and
its precursor i.e. cinnamic acid in D. arayalpathra tubers.
Methods: We used a single step Microwave Assisted Synthesis (MAS) to modify cinnamic acid, and
then examined the synthetic and natural cinnamic acid derivatives anticancer potential against six human
cancer (K-562, WRL-68, A549, A431, MCF-7, and COLO-201) and two normal (L-132 and
HEK-293) cell lines at 2, 10 and 50 µg/ml concentrations.
Results: β-bromostyrene and β -nitrostyrene have shown inhibition with IC50 values ranging 0.10-21
µM and 0.03-0.06 µM, respectively to the cancer cell lines. β-bromostyrene was the most potent anticancer
derivative of CA with better cellular safety and biocompatibility.
Conclusion: The present study of microwave-assisted synthesis demonstrates a single-step modification
in cinnamic acid. MAS is a fast, reliable, and robust method. The resultant compounds have
shown in-vitro anticancer activity against human lung carcinoma and breast adenocarcinoma.