Concise Synthesis and Biological Testing of Natural Products with Potential Anticancer Activity

Quinones are oxidation products of aromatic compounds. Quinones and derivatives thereof are known to show inhibitory properties in the mitochondrial complex I in the mammalian respiratory system. They bind to the active site and inhibit the enzymatic behavior of the mitochondrial complex I. Because complex I is linked to cancer survival, inhibition thereof has been shown to induce cancer cell death. Quinone-derivatives will be concisely synthesized using organic laboratory techniques. After synthesis, the products will be analyzed and identified using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NRM) and Mass Spectroscopy (MS). Other analytical tools, such as thin-layer and column chromatography, will be used as necessary. After identification and classification of the products has been performed, they will be sent to Frankfurt to undergo biological testing. They will be tested for anti-cancer activity using NAD+/NADH assays, in addition to other biological testing methods. The goal of this research is to increase knowledge of the anti-cancer benefits of this class of chemical compound. The hope is to learn more about what role this type of drug could have in the treatment or inhibition of a certain type of respiratory cancer.