Synthesis and investigation of the anticancer effects of estrone-16-oxime ethers in vitro

Ágnes Berényi, Renáta Minorics, Zoltán Iványi, Imre Ocsovszki, Eszter Ducza, Hubert Thole, Josef Messinger, János Wölfling, Gerg Mótyán, Erzsébet Mernyák, Éva Frank, Gyula Schneider, István Zupkó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


An expanding body of evidence indicates the possible role of estrane derivatives as useful anticancer agents. The aim of this study was to describe the cytotoxic effects of 63 newly synthetized estrone-16-oxime ethers on human cancer cell lines (cervix carcinoma HeLa, breast carcinoma MCF7 and skin epidermoid carcinoma A431), studied by means of the MTT assay. Four of the most promising compounds were selected for participation in additional experiments in order to characterize the mechanism of action, including cell cycle analysis, morphological study and the 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine incorporation assay. The cancer selectivity was tested on a noncancerous fibroblast cell line (MRC-5). Since apoptosis and cell cycle disturbance were observed, caspase-3 activities were further assayed for the two most effective agents. These estrone-16-oxime analogs activated caspase-3 and changed the mRNA level expression of endogenous factors regulating the G1-S phase transition (retinoblastoma protein, CDK4 and p16). The repression of retinoblastoma protein was reinforced at a protein level too. These experimental data lead to the conclusion that estrone-16-oxime ethers may be regarded as potential starting structures for the design of novel anticancer agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle blockade
  • Cell viability
  • Estrone-16-oxime ethers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this