Design, synthesis, and molecular docking study of novel cinnoline derivatives as potential inhibitors of tubulin polymerization

Eman Mohammad Mahmoud, Musa Shongwe, Ebrahim Saeedian Moghadam, Parsa Moghimi-Rad, Raphael Stoll, Raid Abdel-Jalil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The preparation of a novel 4-methylbenzo[h] cinnolines entity via a three-step synthetic protocol is described. Cyclization of the naphthylamidrazones, in the presence of polyphosphoric acid (PPA), furnishes the respective target benzo[h]cinnolines directly. This one-pot synthesis involves intramolecular Friedel-Crafts acylation followed by instant elimination under heating conditions. It is noteworthy that the yield of the product from this step decreases dramatically if the heating is extended beyond 3 h. The target novel cinnolone derivatives were identified by mass spectrometry and their structures elucidated by spectroscopic techniques. Subsequently, molecular docking was performed to shed light on the putative binding mode of the newly synthesized cinnolines. The docking results indicate that these derivatives are potential inhibitors of tubulin polymerization and the best interaction was achieved with a computational ki = 0.5 nM and posed correctly over the lexibulin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalZeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2023


  • cinnolone
  • heterocyclic chemistry
  • molecular docking
  • synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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