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BMC Proceedings

Open Access

In vitro antineoplastic activity in triple-negative breast cancer cell line and in vivo

  • Klesia Madeira1,
  • Murilo Cerri1,
  • Renata Daltoé1,
  • Alice Herlinger1,
  • João Allochio Filho2,
  • Sandro Greco2 and
  • Leticia Rangel3
BMC Proceedings20148(Suppl 4):P22

Published: 1 October 2014


PaclitaxelDoxorubicinEtoposideBreast Cancer Cell LineMolecular Dock


Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous subgroup (ER-, PR-, and HER2-) of invasive breast cancer, associated to poor prognosis, partially due to its resistance to available drugs. Therefore, it is imperative to discover new treatment options for the disease. In this context, we have synthesized and screened novel naphtoquinone-derived drugs (patent-protected), rationally designed to act through multiple pathways to avoid tumor chemoresistance.


Drugs antineoplastic efficacy (AE) was accessed in the claudin-low TNBC cell line, MDA-MB231, by cellular metabolic viability (CMV) and IC50 calculation (MTT method; GraphPad Prism version 5.1). Drugs toxicity was studied in healthy mice, following the Guideline 423 (for test of chemicals) of OECD; blood cells and tissues were analyzed by a Pathologist. Computational molecular dock studies were conducted to investigate the molecules tridimensional conformation and bounding energy to topoisomerase 2 (TOPO) and PI3K (Autodock Vina software).

Results and conclusions

We screened the AE of 43 novel drugs in MDA-MB231 (CMV≤50% with 7 drugs). Of these, the most promising drugs PIC 20 (IC50 1.38x10-5M; CMV = 10%) and PIC21 (IC50 5.00x10-5M; CMV = 30%) showed significantly higher AE than cisplatin (IC50 1.56x10-4M; CMV>90%), doxorubicin (IC50 1.76x10-4M; CMV = 62%), and paclitaxel (IC50 5.05x10-7M; CMV = 80%). None of the treated mice died, neither demonstrated symptoms of toxicity, following 14-days treatment with PIC. Indeed, there was no significant change in the animals' weight and general activity/behavior. Major organs showed no significant morphological changes, congestion, edema, necrosis, degeneration or inflammation. On the other hand, there was a 48.98% decrease in their hematocrit count. Finally, based on the crystalline structure of proteins deposited on PDB (1QZR, TOPO; 1E7U, PI3K), and PIC20 and PIC21 tridimensional structures, we concluded that the novel molecules bind to the ATP domain of the proteins with similar interaction energy (E) than the TOPO - Doxorubicin (E = -5.6) and Etoposide (E = -5.7) - or PI3K inhibitors - LY294002 (E = -9.5) and Wortmannin (E = -8.8): PIC20: E = -5.3 and -8.9; PIC21: E = -5.7 and -8.2, for TOPO and PI3K, respectively. In conclusion, we present novel and potentially safe drugs to treat TNBC, in an innovative and economically viable approach.



Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Espírito Santo (FAPES).

Authors’ Affiliations

Biotechnology Program/RENORBIO, Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES), Brazil
Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES), Brazil
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES), Brazil


© Madeira et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.