Novel isoquinolinamine and isoindoloquinazolinone compounds exhibit antiproliferative activity in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells

Catrin Roolf, Jan Niklas Saleweski, Arno Stein, Anna Richter, Claudia Maletzki, Anett Sekora, Hugo Murua Escobar, Xiao Feng Wu, Matthias Beller, Christian Junghanss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nitrogen-containing heterocycles such as quinoline, quinazolinones and indole are scaffolds of natural products and have broad biological effects. During the last years those structures have been intensively synthesized and modified to yield new synthetic molecules that can specifically inhibit the activity of dysregulated protein kinases in cancer cells. Herein, a series of newly synthesized isoquinolinamine (FX-1 to 8) and isoindoloquinazolinone (FX-9, FX-42, FX-43) compounds were evaluated in regards to their anti-leukemic potential on human B- and T- acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells. Several biological effects were observed. B-ALL cells (SEM, RS4;11) were more sensitive against isoquinolinamine compounds than T-ALL cells (Jurkat, CEM). In SEM cells, metabolic activity decreased with 10 µM up to 26.7% (FX-3), 25.2% (FX-7) and 14.5% (FX-8). The 3-(p-Tolyl) isoquinolin-1-amine FX-9 was the most effective agent against B- and T-ALL cells with IC50 values ranging from 0.54 to 1.94 µM. None of the tested compounds displayed hemolysis on erythrocytes or cytotoxicity against healthy leukocytes. Anti-proliferative effect of FX-9 was associated with changes in cell morphology and apoptosis induction. Further, influence of FX-9 on PI3K/AKT, MAPK and JAK/STAT signaling was detected but was heterogeneous. Functional inhibition testing of 58 kinases revealed no specific inhibitory activity among cancer-related kinases. In conclusion, FX-9 displays significant antileukemic activity in B- and T-ALL cells and should be further evaluated in regards to the mechanisms of action. Further compounds of the current series might serve as templates for the design of new compounds and as basic structures for modification approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-501
Number of pages10
JournalBiomolecules and Therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Apoptosis
  • Heterocycles
  • Isoindoloquinazolinone
  • Isoquinolinamine
  • Kinase inhibitor


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