Evaluation of the Greener Synthesis of a Series of Electronically Modified Stilbene Analogues as Novel Anticancer Agents

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Florida Southern College
Cancer is the uncontrolled proliferation of abnormal cells that affects millions of people. Due to the important role microtubules play in cell division, drugs-targeting microtubules can initiate apoptosis, preventing further proliferation of cancer cells, and thus, are often used in chemotherapy. While extensive research has been done to develop anti-cancer drugs targeting taxanes and vinca alkaloid binding sites of microtubules, there are currently no Food and Drug Administration approved colchicine-binding site inhibitors (CBSIs) that have been approved for cancer treatment. Due to the preliminary promising results of CBSIs, a series of electronically varied stilbene analogues targeting the colchicine-binding site of microtubules was synthesized using green chemistry principles. The characterizations of the products via GC-MS and NMR indicated there was a disproportionately large amount of byproduct relative to the desired target compounds. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, solely computational docking studies were used to compare the effectiveness of the molecule with various electron donating and withdrawing groups (EDGs and EWGs) added to the stilbene scaffold at different positions and in different combinations. The docking poses suggest stilbene analogues may not bind to the colchicine domain, and the docking scores reflected more EWGs than EDGs had equivalent or higher binding affinities compared to past intended CBSIs, but were not statistically significant. Further studies need to be conducted to assess actual binding and cytotoxicity.
Honors Thesis Spring 2021
Cancer, Cancer -- Treatment, Green chemistry, Microtubules, Antineoplastic agents