Synthesis, biological evaluation and molecular docking of novel chalconeecoumarin hybrids as anticancer and antimalarial agents
A new series of chalconeecoumarin derivatives (9e19) linked by the 1,2,3-triazole ring were synthesized through the azide/alkyne dipolar cycloaddition. Hybrid molecules were evaluated for their cytotoxic activity against four cancer cell lines (e.g., HuCCA-1, HepG2, A549 and MOLT-3) and antimalarial activity toward Plasmodium falciparum. Most of the synthesized hybrids, except for analogs 10 and 16, displayed cytotoxicity against MOLT-3 cell line without affecting normal cells. Analogs (10, 11, 16 and 18) exhibited higher inhibitory efficacy than the control drug, etoposide, in HepG2 cells. Significantly, the high cyto-toxic potency of the hybrid 11 was shown to be non-toxic to normal cells. Interestingly, the chalcone ecoumarin 18 was the most potent antimalarial compound affording IC50 value of 1.60 mM. Molecular docking suggested that the cytotoxicity of reported hybrids could be possibly due to their dual inhibition of a- and b-tubulins at GTP and colchicine binding sites, respectively. Furthermore, falcipain-2 was identified to be a plausible target site of the hybrids given their antimalarial potency.