Unsymmetrical methylene derivatives of indoles as antiproliferative agents

Mauro Mazzei, Mariangela Miele, Erika Nieddu, Federica Barbieri, Cristina Bruzzo, Angela Alama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indole-3-carbinol is a natural product which has been shown to reduce the incidence of spontaneous and carcinogen-induced mammary tumours in animals. Eighteen unsymmetrical methylene derivatives of indoles were prepared by reaction of Mannich bases of 7-hydroxycoumarins with substituted indoles in acetic or propionic anhydride. The synthesised molecules were tested in vitro against the MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines by MTT and cell count assays. Results from 16 tested compounds showed that 60% of them exerted some effects against the MDA-MB-231 compared to about 30% towards the MCF7. Among all, the 3-(7′-acetoxy-4-methylcoumarin-8′-yl)methyl-2-methylindole resulted the most effective in both cell lines, compared to indole-3-carbinol. In conclusion, these preliminary results report that some of these compounds might be promising potential antiproliferative agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-923
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2001


  • Antiproliferative agents
  • Coumarins
  • Indole-3-carbinol
  • Indoles
  • Unsymmetrical methylene derivatives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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