A new series of benzo[h]quinazoline and benzo[f]quinazoline derivatives was prepared and studied for the biological activity. The compounds carrying a dimethylaminoethyl side chain (6c, 8c and 12) inhibit cell growth. The ability to form a molecular complex with DNA and to interfere with topoII and topoI relaxation activity was evidenced for the most active 6c and 8c, along with the capacity to induce apoptosis on HeLa cells.
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