A Novel Class of N-Sulfonyl and N-Sulfamoyl Noscapine Derivatives that Promote Mitotic Arrest in Cancer Cells

Cassandra Yong, Shane M. Devine, Xuexin Gao, Angelina Yan, Richard Callaghan, Ben Capuano, Peter J. Scammells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Noscapine displays weak anticancer efficacy and numerous research efforts have attempted to generate more potent noscapine analogues. These modifications included the replacement of the N-methyl group in the 6′-position with a range of substituents, where N-ethylcarbamoyl substitution was observed to possess enhanced anticancer activity. Herein, we describe advances in this area, namely the synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of a series of N-sulfonyl and N-sulfamoyl noscapine derivatives. A number of these sulfonyl-containing noscapinoids demonstrated improved activities compared to noscapine. ((R)-5-((S)-4,5-Dimethoxy-1,3-dihydroisobenzofuran-1-yl)-4-methoxy-6-((1-methyl-1H-imidazol-4-yl)sulfonyl)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro[1,3]dioxolo[4,5-g]isoquinoline) (14 q) displayed sub-micromolar activities of 560, 980, 271 and 443 nM against MCF-7, PANC-1, MDA-MB-435 and SK-MEL-5 cells, respectively. This antiproliferative effect was also maintained against drug-resistant NCI/AdrRES cells despite high expression of the multidrug efflux pump, P-glycoprotein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1968-1981
Number of pages14
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2019


  • anticancer agents
  • antimitotic agents
  • microtubule targeting agents
  • natural products
  • noscapine derivatives

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