Alkyl- and N,N′-bisnaphthyl-substituted imidazolium salts were tested in vitro for their anti-cancer activity against four non-small cell lung cancer cell lines (NCI–H460, NCI–H1975, HCC827, A549). All compounds had potent anticancer activity with 2 having IC50values in the nanomolar range for three of the four cell lines, a 17-fold increase in activity against NCI-H1975 cells when compared to cisplatin. Compounds 1–4 also showed high anti-cancer activity against nine NSCLC cell lines in the NCI-60 human tumor cell line screen. In vitro studies performed using the Annexin V and JC-1 assays suggested that NCI-H460 cells treated with 2 undergo an apoptotic cell death pathway and that mitochondria could be the cellular target of 2 with the mechanism of action possibly related to a disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential. The water solubilities of 1–4 was over 4.4 mg/mL using 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin as a chemical excipient, thereby providing sufficient solubility for systemic administration.
- Imidazolium salt
- Lung cancer