Medicinal Chemistry Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 2468–2476 | Cite as

Discovery of novel anti-tumor curcumin analogues from the optimization of curcumin scaffold

  • Laiyin Zhang
  • Haiyang Zong
  • Huiping Lu
  • Jingru Gong
  • Fenfen Ma
Original Research


A series of novel curcumin analogues were synthesized by optimization of its aromatic ring. The antiproliferative activities of these analogues were screened against four human cancer cell lines by MTT assay and some displayed significant improvement in antiproliferative activity compared with curcumin. The most potent compound 10 exhibited antiproliferative activity against Caco-2, Bel-7402, MDA-MB-231, and DU145 cancer cells with IC50 values of 2.04, 1.54, 4.99, and 3.22 μM, respectively. Annexin V/propidium iodide double staining and flow cytometry cell cycle analysis using propidium iodide DNA staining revealed that compound 10 induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase in Bel-7402 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, in an in vivo mouse model of liver cancer xenograft, compound 10 substantially inhibited liver tumor growth at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day without observable toxic effect.


Curcumin Optimization Antitumor Apoptosis 



This work was supported by grants from the National Program on Key Basic Research Project (973 Program, No. 2011CB504405), the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (No. 81372121, 81572146), and the Key Project of Shanghai Science and Technology Commission (No. 13411951002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

44_2017_1946_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.3 mb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laiyin Zhang
    • 1
  • Haiyang Zong
    • 2
  • Huiping Lu
    • 3
  • Jingru Gong
    • 3
  • Fenfen Ma
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PharmacyLinyi people’s HospitalLinyiChina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Changzheng HospitalThe Second Military Medical UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacy, Pudong HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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