Rational approaches, design strategies, structure activity relationship and mechanistic insights for anticancer hybrids

Kunal Nepali, Sahil Sharma, Manmohan Sharma, P. M.S. Bedi, K. L. Dhar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

391 Citations (Scopus)


A Hybrid drug which comprises the incorporation of two drug pharmacophores in one single molecule are basically designed to interact with multiple targets or to amplify its effect through action on another bio target as one single molecule or to counterbalance the known side effects associated with the other hybrid part.The present review article offers a detailed account of the design strategies employed for the synthesis of anticancer agents via molecular hybridization techniques. Over the years, the researchers have employed this technique to discover some promising chemical architectures displaying significant anticancer profiles. Molecular hybridization as a tool has been particularly utilized for targeting tubulin protein as exemplified through the number of research papers. The microtubule inhibitors such as taxol, colchicine, chalcones, combretasatin, phenstatins and vinca alkaloids have been utilized as one of the functionality of the hybrids and promising results have been obtained in most of the cases with some of the tubulin based hybrids exhibiting anticancer activity at nanomolar level. Linkage with steroids as biological carrier vector for anticancer drugs and the inclusion of pyrrolo [2,1-c] [1,4]benzodiazepines (PBDs), a family of DNA interactive antitumor antibiotics derived from Streptomyces species in hybrid structure based drug design has also emerged as a potential strategy. Various heteroaryl based hybrids in particular isatin and coumarins have also been designed and reported to posses' remarkable inhibitory potential. Apart from presenting the design strategies, the article also highlights the structure activity relationship along with mechanistic insights revealed during the biological evaluation of the hybrids. 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-487
Number of pages66
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Apr 22 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Colchicine
  • Cytotoxic
  • Fusion
  • Molecular hybridization
  • Tubulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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