Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Triple-Modified Colchicine Derivatives as Potent Tubulin-Targeting Anticancer Agents
Specific modifications of colchicine followed by synthesis of its analogues have been tested in vitro with the objective of lowering colchicine toxicity. Our previous studies have clearly shown the anticancer potential of double-modified colchicine derivatives in C-7 and C-10 positions. Here, a series of novel triple-modified colchicine derivatives is reported. They have been obtained following a four-step strategy. In vitro cytotoxicity of these compounds has been evaluated against four human tumor cell lines (A549, MCF-7, LoVo, and LoVo/DX). Additionally, the mode of binding of the synthesized compounds was evaluated in silico using molecular docking to a 3D structure of β-tubulin based on crystallographic data from the Protein Data Bank and homology methodology. Binding free energy estimates, binding poses, and MlogP values of the compounds were obtained. All triple-modified colchicine derivatives were shown to be active at nanomolar concentrations against three of the investigated cancer cell lines (A549, MCF-7, LoVo). Four of them also showed higher potency against tumor cells over normal cells as confirmed by their high selectivity index values. A vast majority of the synthesized derivatives exhibited several times higher cytotoxicity than colchicine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin.