A head-to-head study of representative examples of N-hydroxyindole-2-carboxylates (NHI) and malonic derivatives (Mal) as LDH-A inhibitors was conducted, comparing the enzyme inhibition potency, cellular uptake, reduction of lactate production in cancer cells and anti-proliferative activity. Among the compounds tested, methyl 1-hydroxy-6-phenyl-4-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-indole-2-carboxylate (2, NHI-2), a methyl ester belonging to the NHI class, displayed optimal properties in the cell-based assays, proving to be an efficient anti-glycolytic agent against cancer cells.
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