Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of indole derivative, N-(2-hydroxy-5-nitrophenyl (4′-methylphenyl) methyl) indoline in breast cancer cells

Suresh Palanivel, Akshaya Murugesan, Kumar Subramanian, Olli Yli-Harja, Meenakshisundaram Kandhavelu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Indoline derivatives functions as an inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with the anticancer potential against various cancers. We aim to investigate anti-breast cancer effects and mechanism of action of novel indoline derivatives. Molecular docking of seven indoline derivates with EGFR revealed, N-(2-hydroxy-5-nitrophenyl (4′-methylphenyl) methyl) indoline (HNPMI) as the top lead compound. RT-PCR analysis showed the downregulation of PI3K/S6K1 genes in breast cancer cells through the activation of EGFR with HNPMI. This compound found to have higher cytotoxicity than Cyclophosphamide, with the IC50 of 64.10 μM in MCF-7 and 119.99 μM in SkBr3 cells. HNPMI significantly reduced the cell proliferation of MCF-7 and SkBr3 cells, without affecting non-cancerous cells, H9C2. Induction of apoptosis was analyzed by Caspase-3 and -9, DNA fragmentation, AO/EtBr staining and flow cytometry assays. A fold change of 0.218- and 0.098- for caspase-3 and 0.478- and 0.269- for caspase-9 in MCF7 and SkBr3 cells was observed, respectively. Caspase mediated apoptosis caused DNA fragmentation in breast cancer cells upon HNPMI treatment. The structural elucidation of HNPMI by QSAR model and ADME-Tox suggests, a bi-molecular interaction of HNPMI-EGFR which is related to antiproliferative and apoptotic activity. The data concludes that, HNPMI-induced the apoptosis via EGFR signaling pathway in breast cancer cells. Thus, HNPMI might serve as a scaffold for developing a potential anti-breast cancer therapeutic agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number173195
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • ADME
  • Apoptosis
  • Docking
  • EGFR
  • Gene expression
  • Indoline derivatives
  • QSAR

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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