Due to its role in lipid biosynthesis, choline kinase α1 (CKα1) is an interesting target for the development of new antitumor agents. In this work, we present a series of 41 compounds designed based on the well-known and successful strategy of introducing thienopyridine and pyrimidine as bioisosteres of other heterocycles in active antitumor compounds. Notwithstanding the fact that some of these compounds do not show significant enzymatic inhibition, others, in contrast, feature substantially improved enzymatic and antiproliferative inhibition values. This is also confirmed by docking analysis, whereby compounds with longer linkers and thienopyrimidine cationic head have been identified as the most compelling. Among the best compounds is Ff-35, which inhibits the growth of different tumor cells at submicromolar concentrations. Moreover, Ff-35 is more potent in inhibiting CKα1 than other previous biscationic derivatives. Treatment of A549, Hela, and MDA-MB-231 cells with Ff-35 results in their arrest at the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Furthermore, the compound induces cellular apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Altogether, these findings indicate that Ff-35 is a promising new chemotherapeutic agent with encouraging preclinical potential.
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