Chemical Papers

, Volume 73, Issue 5, pp 1083–1092 | Cite as

Synthesis of new indirubin derivatives and their in vitro anticancer activity

  • Dan Trong Nguyen
  • Giang Nguyen Truong
  • Truong Van Vuong
  • Tai Nguyen Van
  • Cuong Nguyen Manh
  • Cuong To Dao
  • Thuy Dinh Thi Thuy
  • Chinh Luu VanEmail author
  • Vu Tran KhacEmail author
Original Paper


The opening of epoxy rings from (2′Z)-N-1-(oxiran-2-ylmethyl)indirubin (2) and (2′Z-3′E)-indirubin-3ʹ-[O-oxiran-2-ylmethyl)oxime] (6) with thiols gave 17 new derivatives of indirubin in good yields. Their structures were elucidated by 1D-, 2D-NMR and HRMS spectra. Screening for anticancer activity was performed with four human cancer cell lines: SW480, LU-1, HepG2 and HL-60 in comparison with indirubin, indirubin-3′-oxime and 6-mercaptopurine. The results showed that cytotoxic and anti-proliferative activities of five derivatives were found in the range of 1.35–19.24 µM. Among synthesized derivatives, 4f showed the strongest activity against all four tested cancer cell lines with IC50 values of 1.65, 2.21, 1.90 and 1.35 µM, respectively.


Indirubin Indirubin-3′-oxime 6-mercaptopurine Cytotoxic 



The authors gratefully acknowledge Vietnam-Russia Tropical Center and Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) for financial support via project VAST.HTQT.BELARUS.04/15-16.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Trong Nguyen
    • 1
  • Giang Nguyen Truong
    • 1
  • Truong Van Vuong
    • 1
  • Tai Nguyen Van
    • 2
  • Cuong Nguyen Manh
    • 2
  • Cuong To Dao
    • 2
  • Thuy Dinh Thi Thuy
    • 2
  • Chinh Luu Van
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Vu Tran Khac
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Vietnam-Russia Tropical CenterHanoiVietnam
  2. 2.Institute of Natural Products ChemistryVietnam Academy of Science and TechnologyHanoiVietnam
  3. 3.Graduate University of Science and TechnologyHanoiVietnam
  4. 4.School of Chemical EngineeringHanoi University of Science and TechnologyHanoiVietnam

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