A small library of synthetic Di-substituted 1, 4-naphthoquinones induces ROS-mediated cell death in murine fibroblasts

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Abstract

Synthesis of compound libraries and their concurrent assessment as selective reagents for probing and modulating biological function continues to be an active area of chemical biology. Microwave-assisted solid-phase Do? tz benzannulation reactions have been used to inexpensively synthesize 2, 3-disubstituted-1, 4-naphthoquinone derivatives. Herein, we report the biological testing of a small library of such compounds using a murine fibroblast cell line (L929). Assessment of cellular viability identified three categories of cytotoxic compounds: no toxicity, low/intermediate toxicity and high toxicity. Increased levels of Annexin-V-positive staining and of caspase 3 activity confirmed that low, intermediate, and highly toxic compounds promote cell death. The compounds varied in their ability to induce mitochondrial depolarization and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Both cytotoxic and non-cytotoxic compounds triggered mitochondrial depolarization, while one highly cytotoxic compound did not. In addition, all cytotoxic compounds promoted increased intracellular ROS but the cells were only partially protected from compound-induced apoptosis when in the presence of superoxide dismutase, catalase, or ascorbic acid suggesting utilization of additional pro-death mechanisms. In summary, nine of twelve (75%) 1, 4-naphthoquinone synthetic compounds were cytotoxic. Although the mitochondria did not appear to be a central target for induction of cell death, all of the cytotoxic compounds induced ROS formation. Thus, the data demonstrate that the synthesis regime effectively created cytotoxic compounds highlighting the potential use of the regime and its products for the identification of biologically relevant reagents. Copyright:

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Ramirez, O., Motta-Mena, L. B., Cordova, A., & Garza, K. M. (2014). A small library of synthetic Di-substituted 1, 4-naphthoquinones induces ROS-mediated cell death in murine fibroblasts. PLoS ONE, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106828

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