Colchicine belongs to a large group of microtubule polymerization inhibitors. Although the anti-cancer activity of colchicine and its derivatives has been established, none of them has found commercial application in cancer treatment due to side effects. Therefore, we designed and synthesized a series of six triple-modified 4-chlorothiocolchicine analogues with amide moieties and one urea derivative. These novel derivatives were tested against several different cancer cell lines (A549, MCF-7, LoVo, LoVo/DX) and primary acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells and they showed activity in the nanomolar range. The obtained IC values for novel derivatives were lower than those obtained for unmodified colchicine and common anticancer drugs such as doxorubicin and cisplatin. Further studies of colchicine and selected analogues were undertaken to indicate that they induced apoptotic cell death in ALL-5 cells. We also performed in silico studies to predict binding modes of the 4-chlorothiocolchicine derivatives to different β tubulin isotypes. The results indicate that select triple-modified 4-chlorothiocolchicine derivatives represent highly promising novel cancer chemotherapeutics.
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