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A novel class of 6-indolypyridine-3-carbonitrile derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for antiproliferative activities to establish structure–activity relationship. The synthesis was carried out through one-pot multicomponent reaction of 3-acetylindole, aromatic aldehydes, ethyl cyanoacetate, and ammonium acetate in the presence of piperidine as a catalyst, using a microwave irradiation method or a traditional thermal method. This was followed by chlorination for compounds 13a–e and subsequent nucleophilic substitution of the chlorine group by ethylenediamine at C2 position of the pyridine ring. The antiproliferative activity of these new nicotinonitriles was evaluated against human ovarian adenocarcinoma (SK-OV-3), breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), and cervix adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells. Among all compounds, 2-((2-aminoethyl)amino)-4-aryl-6-indolylnicotinonitriles series (15a, 15b, 15d, and 15e) exhibited higher antiproliferative activity on the three cancer cell lines with IC50 values of 4.1–13.4 μM.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Tetrahedron Letters. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Tetrahedron Letters, volume 55. issue 6, in 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.tetlet.2013.12.081

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