Anticancer properties of thiophene derivatives in breast cancer MCF-7 cells

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Substitutions in thiophene structure give rise to new derivatives with different biological and pharmacological activities. The present study investigated the cytotoxicity activity of some thiophene derivatives in breast cancer cells maintained in two-dimensional (2D) or in three-dimensional (3D) culture and evaluated the anticancer mechanism of these compounds. Cytotoxicity assays were performed against untransformed cells and against breast cancer cell MCF-7. Apoptosis analysis and in-vitro migration assay were also performed to evaluate the mechanism of induction of cell death. All thiophene derivatives reduced the cell viability in breast cancer cells, showing cytotoxic activity (IC50<30 µmol/l), and SB-200 compound showed the best selectivity index in MCF-7 cells compared with doxorubicin in 2D culture. All thiophene derivatives significantly induced G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest. However, only SB-83 treatment was effective against motility of MCF-7 cells in 2D culture (P=0.0059). The SB-200 derivative treatment induced an increased proportion of acridine orange/Hoechst double-stained cells (35.35 vs. 3.14%, P=0.0002) compared with nontreated cells, with apoptosis morphological alterations independent of caspase 7 activation (P>0.05). MCF-7 cells became less responsive to SB-200 and to doxorubicin in 3D culture compared with cells in 2D culture (higher IC50 values); however, SB-200 showed a better cytotoxic effect compared with doxorubicin in 3D culture. Therefore, the current study provides an insight into anticancer potential of thiophene derivatives, and further studies should be conducted to understand the mechanism by which thiophene derivatives act on cancer cells.

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