Novel 8-Methoxycoumarin-3-Carboxamides with potent anticancer activity against liver cancer via targeting caspase-3/7 and β-tubulin polymerization

Ahmad Alzamami, Eman M. Radwan, Eman Abo-Elabass, Mohammed El Behery, Hussah Abdullah Alshwyeh, Ebtesam Al-Olayan, Abdulmalik S. Altamimi, Nashwah G.M. Attallah, Najla Altwaijry, Mariusz Jaremko*, Essa M. Saied*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In the present study, we explored the potential of coumarin-based compounds, known for their potent anticancer properties, by designing and synthesizing a novel category of 8-methoxycoumarin-3-carboxamides. Our aim was to investigate their antiproliferative activity against liver cancer cells. Toward this, we developed a versatile synthetic approach to produce a series of 8-methoxycoumarin-3-carboxamide analogues with meticulous structural features. Assessment of their antiproliferative activity demonstrated their significant inhibitory effects on the growth of HepG2 cells, a widely studied liver cancer cell line. Among screened compounds, compound 5 exhibited the most potent antiproliferative activity among the screened compounds (IC50 = 0.9 µM), outperforming the anticancer drug staurosporine (IC50 = 8.4 µM), while showing minimal impact on normal cells. The flow cytometric analysis revealed that compound 5 induces cell cycle arrest during the G1/S phase and triggers apoptosis in HepG2 cells by increasing the percentage of cells arrested in the G2/M and pre-G1 phases. Annexin V-FITC/PI screening further supported the induction of apoptosis without significant necrosis. Further, compound 5 exhibited the ability to activate caspase3/7 protein and substantially inhibited β-tubulin polymerization activity in HepG2 cells. Finally, molecular modelling analysis further affirmed the high binding affinity of compound 5 toward the active cavity of β-tubulin protein, suggesting its mechanistic involvement. Collectively, our findings highlight the therapeutic potential of the presented class of coumarin analogues, especially compound 5, as promising candidates for the development of effective anti-hepatocellular carcinoma agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174
JournalBMC Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Antiproliferative activity
  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase-3/7
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Coumarin analogues
  • Flow cytometric analysis
  • Liver cancer
  • Molecular docking
  • β-tubulin polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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