Multi-target weapons: diaryl-pyrazoline thiazolidinediones simultaneously targeting VEGFR-2 and HDAC cancer hallmarks†
In anticancer drug discovery, multi-targeting compounds have been beneficial due to their advantages over single-targeting compounds. For instance, VEGFR-2 has a crucial role in angiogenesis and cancer management, whereas HDACs are well-known regulators of epigenetics and have been known to contribute significantly to angiogenesis and carcinogenesis. Herein, we have reported nineteen novel VEGFR-2 and HDAC dual-targeting analogs containing diaryl-pyrazoline thiazolidinediones and their in vitro and in vivo biological evaluation. In particular, the most promising compound 14c has emerged as a dual inhibitor of VEGFR-2 and HDAC. It demonstrated anti-angiogenic activity by inhibiting in vitro HUVEC proliferation, migration, and tube formation. Moreover, an in vivo CAM assay showed that 14c repressed new capillary formation in CAMs. In particular, 14c exhibited cytotoxicity potential on different cancer cell lines such as MCF-7, K562, A549, and HT-29. Additionally, 14c demonstrated significant potency and selectivity against HDAC4 in the sub-micromolar range. To materialize the hypothesis, we also performed molecular docking on the crystal structures of both VEGFR-2 (PDB ID: 1YWN) and HDAC4 (PDB-ID: 4CBY), which corroborated the designing and biological activity. The results indicated that compound 14c could be a potential lead to develop more optimized multi-target analogs with enhanced potency and selectivity.