BTEAC Catalyzed Ultrasonic-Assisted Synthesis of Bromobenzofuran-Oxadiazoles: Unravelling Anti-HepG-2 Cancer Therapeutic Potential through In Vitro and In Silico Studies

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Irfan A., Zahoor A. F., Rasul A., Al-Hussain S. A., Faisal S., Ahmad S., ...More

International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol.24, no.3, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ijms24033008
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: bromobenzofuran-oxadiazole, BTEAC, HepG-2 cell line, EGFR, PI3K, mTOR and tubulin polymerization inhibitors, SAR, molecular docking, MD simulations, DFT studies, REGIOSELECTIVE SYNTHESIS, BENZOFURAN DERIVATIVES, ANTICANCER ACTIVITY, INHIBITORS, HYBRIDS, DESIGN, SOFTWARE, ACCURATE, BINDS, LEAD
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


© 2023 by the authors.In this work, BTEAC (benzyl triethylammonium chloride) was employed as a phase transfer catalyst in an improved synthesis (up to 88% yield) of S-alkylated bromobenzofuran-oxadiazole scaffolds BF1-9. These bromobenzofuran-oxadiazole structural hybrids BF1-9 were evaluated in vitro against anti-hepatocellular cancer (HepG2) cell line as well as for their in silico therapeutic potential against six key cancer targets, such as EGFR, PI3K, mTOR, GSK-3β, AKT, and Tubulin polymerization enzymes. Bromobenzofuran structural motifs BF-2, BF-5, and BF-6 displayed the best anti-cancer potential and with the least cell viabilities (12.72 ± 2.23%, 10.41 ± 0.66%, and 13.08 ± 1.08%), respectively, against HepG2 liver cancer cell line, and they also showed excellent molecular docking scores against EGFR, PI3K, mTOR, and Tubulin polymerization enzymes, which are major cancer targets. Bromobenzofuran-oxadiazoles BF-2, BF-5, and BF-6 displayed excellent binding affinities with the active sites of EGFR, PI3K, mTOR, and Tubulin polymerization enzymes in the molecular docking studies as well as in MMGBSA and MM-PBSA studies. The stable bindings of these structural hybrids BF-2, BF-5, and BF-6 with the enzyme targets EGFR and PI3K were further confirmed by molecular dynamic simulations. These investigations revealed that 2,5-dimethoxy-based bromobenzofuran-oxadiazole BF-5 (10.41 ± 0.66% cell viability) exhibited excellent cytotoxic therapeutic efficacy. Moreover, computational studies also suggested that the EGFR, PI3K, mTOR, and Tubulin polymerization enzymes were the probable targets of this BF-5 scaffold. In silico approaches, such as molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, and DFT studies, displayed excellent association with the experimental biological data of bromobenzofuran-oxadiazoles BF1-9. Thus, in silico and in vitro results anticipate that the synthesized bromobenzofuran-oxadiazole hybrid BF-5 possesses prominent anti-liver cancer inhibitory effects and can be used as lead for further investigation for anti-HepG2 liver cancer therapy.