3D-QSAR, design, synthesis and characterization of trisubstituted harmine derivatives with in vitro antiproliferative properties

Céline Meinguet, Céline Bruyère, Raphaël Frédérick, Véronique Mathieu, Christelle Vancraeynest, Lionel Pochet, Julie Laloy, Jérémie Mortier, Gerhard Wolber, Robert Kiss, Bernard Masereel, Johan Wouters

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Apolar trisubstituted derivatives of harmine show high antiproliferative activity on diverse cancer cell lines. However, these molecules present a poor solubility making these compounds poorly bioavailable. Here, new compounds were synthesized in order to improve solubility while retaining antiproliferative activity. First, polar substituents have shown a higher solubility but a loss of antiproliferative activity. Second, a Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA) model was developed, guiding the design and synthesis of eight new compounds. Characterization has underlined the in vitro antiproliferative character of these compounds on five cancerous cell lines, combining with a high solubility at physiological pH, making these molecules druggable. Moreover, targeting glioma treatment, human intestinal absorption and blood brain penetration have been calculated, showing high absorption and penetration properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7726
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2015


  • Antiproliferative activity
  • Comparative molecular field analysis
  • Cytostatic activity
  • Harmine derivatives

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