Due to its high potency and selectivity, anticancer agents consisting of combined molecules have gained great interests. The current study introduces newly synthesized progesterone derivatives of promising anticancer effect. Moreover, the pro-apoptotic and anti-angiogenic effects of these compounds were studied extensively. Several thiazole, pyridine, pyrazole, thiazolopyridine and pyrazolopyridine progesterone derivatives were synthesized. The structure of the novel progesterone derivatives was elucidated and confirmed using the analytical and spectral data. This novel derivatives were tested for their cytotoxic effect against human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) using neutral red uptake assay. Tested compounds showed anticancer activity against MCF-7 cancer cell line in the descending order of 7 > 2 > 3 > 8 > 6 > 9 > 4. The expression levels of Bcl-2, survivin, CCND1, CDC2, P53 and P21, VEGF, Hif-1α, MMP-2, MMP-9, Ang-1, Ang-2, and FGF-1 genes were investigated using QRT-PCR (Quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction). The study clarified that compounds 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 showed significant pro-apoptotic effect through the down regulation of Bcl-2., besides, survivin and CCND1 expression levels were down regulated by compounds 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9. However, Compound 4 may exert this pro-apoptotic effect through the up-regulation of P53 gene expression. On the other hand, the anti-angiogenic effect of these newly synthesized derivatives was due to their down regulation of VEGF, Ang-2, MMP-9 and FGF-1; and the up-regulation of HIF-1α and ang-1. This study recommended promising pro-apoptotic and anti-angiogenic anticancer agents acting through the regulation of key regulators of apoptosis, cell cycle genes, and pro-angiogenic genes.Graphical abstract
The effect of novel compounds on apoptotic and angiogenic gene expression levels in MCF-7 cells.