Synthesis and biological evaluation of podophyllotoxin congeners as tubulin polymerization inhibitors

Ahmed Kamal, T. Srinivasa Reddy, Sowjanya Polepalli, Nekkanti Shalini, V. Ganga Reddy, A. V. Subba Rao, Nishant Jain, Nagula Shankaraiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A series of new podophyllotoxin derivatives containing structural modifications at C-7, C-8, and C-9 were synthesized and evaluated for their cytotoxic activity against three human cancer cell lines. All the synthesized compounds showed significant growth inhibition with GI50values in micromolar levels while some of the compounds were several times more potent against MCF-7 and HeLa cell lines than MIAPACA cell line. Three compounds (12a, 12d and 12e) emerged as potent compounds with broad spectrum of cytotoxic activity against all the tested cell lines with GI50values in the range of 0.01-2.1 μM. These compounds induce microtubule depolymerization and arrests cells at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. Moreover, compounds 12d and 12e disrupted microtubule network and accumulated tubulin in the soluble fraction in a similar manner to their parent podophyllotoxin scaffold. In addition, structure activity relationship studies within the series were also discussed. Molecular docking studies of these compounds into the colchicine-binding site of tubulin, revealed possible mode of inhibition by these compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5466-5475
Number of pages10
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzimidazole
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Molecular docking
  • Podophyllotoxin
  • Tubulin polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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