Introducing novel potent anticancer agents of 1H-benzo[f]chromene scaffolds, targeting c-Src kinase enzyme with MDA-MB-231 cell line anti-invasion effect

In our effort to develop novel and powerful agents with anti-proliferative activity, two new series of 1H-benzo[f]chromene derivatives, 4a–h and 6a–h, were synthesised using heterocyclocondensation methodologies under microwave irradiation condition. The structures of the target compounds were established on the basis of their spectral data, IR, 1H NMR, 13 C NMR, 13 C NMR-DEPT/APT, and MS data. The new compounds have been examined for their anti-proliferative activity against three cancer cell lines, MCF-7, HCT-116, and HepG-2. Vinblastine and Doxorubicin have been used as positive controls in the viability assay. The obtained results confirmed that most of the tested molecules revealed strong and selective cytotoxic activity against the three cancer cell lines. Moreover, these molecules exhibited weak cytotoxicity on the HFL-1 line, which suggested that they might be ideal anticancer candidates. The SAR study of the new benzochromene compounds verified that the substituents on the phenyl ring of 1H-benzo[f]chromene nucleus, accompanied with the presence of bromine atom or methoxy group at the 8-position, increases the ability of these molecules against the different cell lines. Due to their high anti-proliferative activity, compounds 4c and 6e were selected to be examined their proficiency to inhibit the invasiveness of the highly sensitive and invasive breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231. The anti-invasion behaviour of these molecules against the highly sensitive, non-oestrogen, and progesterone MDA-MB-231 cell line gave rise to their decreasing metastatic effect compared to the reference drug. Furthermore, this report explores the apoptotic mechanistic pathway of the cytotoxicity of the target compounds and reveals that most of these compounds enhance the Caspase 3/7 activity that could be considered as potential anticancer agents.