Cancer is a disease that is spread widely all over the world and requires the development of new anticancer drugs. Curing cancer is a complicated process as the drugs used target human cells and cells that have undergone genetic changes and are dividing at a quick and uncontrolled rate. Thus, there is constant need to develop alternative or synergistic anticancer agents with minimal side effects.
One of the important strategy in the search for chemotherapeutics is the approach based on combining in one molecule fragments of known drugs, leading structures or "hit" structures. The conjugation of two pharmacophores into a molecular hybrid aims at achieving a synergistic effect with increased efficacy compared to the starting compounds.
The aim of the work was to synthesize of new N-substituted N'-(2-methylthio-4-chloro-5-methylbenzenesulfonyl)guanidines with potential anticancer activity, designed as molecular hybrids containing fragments of chalcone and 4-chloro-5-methyl-2-methylthiobenzenesulfonamide.
Cytotoxic activity of the compounds was evaluated in the MTT test against three human tumor cell lines: breast cancer (MCF-7), colon cancer (HCT-116) and cervical cancer (HeLa). It has been shown that all sulfonamides are highly active against breast and colon cancer cell lines (IC50: 2.5‒5 μM). Additionally, in tests carried out on non-cancer human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT), it was proved that the tested compounds showed higher cytotoxicity against cancer cells compared to healthy cells. Cytotoxic activity in HeLa cell line ranged from values of IC50 from 5 to 17 μM.