Anticancer Effects with Molecular Docking Confirmation of Newly Synthesized Isatin Sulfonamide Molecular Hybrid Derivatives against Hepatic Cancer Cell Lines

Mahmoud Eldeeb, Eman F. Sanad, Ahmed Ragab, Yousry A. Ammar, Khaled Mahmoud, Mamdouh M. Ali, Nadia M. Hamdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study investigated the cytotoxic effect of ten sulfonamide-derived isatins, following molecular hybridization, based on the association principles, on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) HepG2 and Huh7 cell lines, compared for safety using human normal retina pigmented epithelial (RPE-1) cells. The ten compounds showed variable in vitro cytotoxicity on HepG2 and Huh7 cells, using the MTT assay. Four compounds (4/10) were highly cytotoxic to both HepG2 and HuH7. However, only 3 of these 4 were of the highest safety margin on RPE-1 cells in vitro and in the in vivo acute (14-day) oral toxicity study. These later, superior three compounds’ structures are 3-hydroxy-3-(2-oxo-2-(p-tolyl)ethyl)-5-(piperidin-1-ylsulfonyl)indolin-2-one (3a), N-(4-(2-(2-oxo-5-(piperidin-1-ylsulfonyl)indolin-3-ylidene)acetyl)phenyl)acetamide (4b), and N-(3-(2-(2-oxo-5-(piperidin-1-ylsulfonyl)indolin-3-ylidene)acetyl)phenyl)acetamide (4c). The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of the tested compounds (3a, 4b, and 4c) on HepG2 cells were approximately 16.8, 44.7, and 39.7 µM, respectively. The 3a, 4b, and 4c compounds significantly decreased the angiogenic marker epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) level and that was further confirmed via molecular docking inside the EFGR active site (PDB: 1M17). The binding free energies ranged between −19.21 and −21.74 Kcal/mol compared to Erlotinib (−25.65 Kcal/mol). The most promising compounds, 3a, 4b, and 4c, showed variable anticancer potential on “hallmarks of cancer”, significant cytotoxicity, and apoptotic anti-angiogenic and anti-invasive effects, manifested as suppression of Bcl-2, urokinase plasminogen activation, and heparanase expression in HepG2-treated cells’ lysate, compared to non-treated HepG2 cells. In conclusion, compound “3a” is highly comparable to doxorubicin regarding cell cycle arrest at G2/M, the pre-G0 phases and early and late apoptosis induction and is comparable to Erlotinib regarding binding to EGFR active site. Therefore, the current study could suggest that compound “3a” is, hopefully, the most safe and active synthesized isatin sulfonamide derivative for HCC management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number722
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  • HepG2
  • Huh7
  • angiogenesis
  • apoptosis
  • cancer hallmarks
  • invasion
  • isatin sulfonamides
  • molecular docking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Anticancer Effects with Molecular Docking Confirmation of Newly Synthesized Isatin Sulfonamide Molecular Hybrid Derivatives against Hepatic Cancer Cell Lines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this