Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Mar 2;216:113336. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113336. Online ahead of print.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp)-mediated multidrug resistance (MDR) is a phenomenon in which cells become resistant to structurally and mechanistically unrelated drugs resulting in low intracellular drug concentrations. It is one of the noteworthy problems in malignant tumor clinical therapeutics. So P-gp protein is one of the ideal targets to solve MDR. Based on the lead compound 5m obtained from our previous work, a series of furan derivatives featuring alkyl-substituted phenols and 6,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline were designed and synthesized as reversal agents against P-gp in this paper. Compound 16 containing isopropoxy possessed good potency against P-gp mediated MDR in MCF-7/ADR (IC50 (doxorubicin) = 0.73 μM, RF = 69.6 with 5 μM 16 treated). Western blot results and Rh123 accumulation assays showed that 16 effectively inhibited P-gp efflux function but not its expression. The preliminary structure-activity relationship and docking studies demonstrated that compound 16 would be a potential P-gp inhibitor. Most worthy of mention is that compound 16 has achieved satisfactory results in combination with a variety of anti-tumor drugs, such as doxorubicin, paclitaxel, and vincristine. This study forwards a hopeful P-gp inhibitor for withstanding malignant tumor cell with multidrug resistance setting the basis for further studies.