14 February 2017
Overexpression of the efflux pump P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is one of the important mechanisms of multidrug resistance (MDR) in many tumor cells. In this study, 26 novel 5-oxo-hexahydroquinoline derivatives containing different nitrophenyl moieties at C 4 and various carboxamide substituents at C 3 were designed, synthesized and evaluated for their ability to inhibit P-gp by measuring the amount of rhodamine 123 (Rh123) accumulation in uterine sarcoma cells that overexpress P-gp (MES-SA/Dx5) using flow cytometry. The effect of compounds with highest MDR reversal activities was further evaluated by measuring the alterations of MES-SA/Dx5 cells’ sensitivity to doxorubicin (DXR) using MTT assay. The results of both biological assays indicated that compounds bearing 2-nitrophenyl at C 4 position and compounds with 4-chlorophenyl carboxamide at C 3 demonstrated the highest activities in resistant cells, while they were devoid of any effect in parental nonresistant MES-SA cells. One of the active derivatives, 5c, significantly increased intracellular Rh123 at 100 µM, and it also significantly reduced the IC 50 of DXR by 70.1% and 88.7% at 10 and 25 µM, respectively, in MES-SA/Dx5 cells. The toxicity of synthesized compounds against HEK293 as a noncancer cell line was also investigated. All tested derivatives except for 2c compound showed no cytotoxicity. A molecular dynamics simulation study was also performed to investigate the possible binding site of 5c in complex with human P-gp, which showed that this compound formed 11 average H-bonds with Ser909, Thr911, Arg547, Arg543 and Ser474 residues of P-gp. A good agreement was found between the results of the computational and experimental studies. The findings of this study show that some 5-oxo-hexahydroquinoline derivatives could serve as promising candidates for the discovery of new agents for P-gp-mediated MDR reversal.