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1,3,4-Oxadiazole and 1,3,4-Thiadiazole Nortopsentin Derivatives against Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Synthesis, Cytotoxic Activity, and Inhibition of CDK1

  • Authors: Carbone, Daniela; Pecoraro, Camilla; Panzeca, Giovanna; Xu, Geng; Roeten, Margot S F; Cascioferro, Stella; Giovannetti, Elisa; Diana, Patrizia; Parrino, Barbara
  • Publication year: 2023
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


A new series of nortopsentin analogs, in which the central imidazole ring of the natural lead was replaced by a 1,3,4-oxadiazole or 1,3,4-thiadiazole moiety, was efficiently synthesized. The antiproliferative activity of all synthesized derivatives was evaluated against five pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines, a primary culture and a gemcitabine-resistant variant. The five more potent compounds elicited EC50 values in the submicromolar-micromolar range, associated with a significant reduction in cell migration. Moreover, flow cytometric analysis after propidium iodide staining revealed an increase in the G2-M and a decrease in G1-phase, indicating cell cycle arrest, while a specific ELISA demonstrated the inhibition of CDK1 activity, a crucial regulator of cell cycle progression and cancer cell proliferation.