Gingerol-derivatives: Emerging new therapy against human drug-resistant MCF-7

Ahmed S. Ibrahim, Mohamed A.M. Sobh, Hossam Mohammed Eid, Amgad Salem, Hossam Hamza Elbelasi, Mai H. El-Naggar, Fatma M. Abdelbar, Hussein Sheashaa, Mohamed A. Sobh, Farid A. Badria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Cancer chemotherapies have been improved dramatically over the last two decades. In the case of human breast cancer, the combination chemotherapeutic protocol, cyclophosphamide (CPA), doxorubicin (DOX), and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (CDF), is often used. Nevertheless, the clinical usefulness of CDF is limited by its remarkably low therapeutic window and frequent eruption of resistance. These limitations prompted our search for a more effective and safe drug candidate that may raise the therapeutic benefits for breast cancer patients. Gingerols’ wide therapeutic indices as well as their high efficacy in the suppression of carcinogenesis are well established. However, no thorough study to date has profiled their antibreast cancer activities in depth. Therefore, the aims of the present study are to evaluate the antibreast cancer activities of gingerols in comparison to CDF and to gain insight into the structure activity relationships (SARs) responsible for the observed effect using a breast cancer cell model, MCF-7. Our data revealed that 6-gingerol showed the highest anticancer potency that is superior to that of CDF with IC50=30.4 μM. Guided by these results, semisynthetic modifications of 6-gingerol have been carried out to characterize 6-gingerol’s SARs. The obtained results showed that the acquisition of free hydroxyl group in the aliphatic side chain of 6-gingerol is essential for the antibreast cancer activity. Likewise, the length of aliphatic side chain in 6-gingerol is optimum for its anticancer activity because any decrease in the side chain length resulted in a dramatic loss of anticancer activity. Additionally, allylation of phenolic group has shown antibreast cancer activity superior to that of 6-gingerol per se. Conversely, methylation or isoprenylation of phenolic group has led to a potential decrease in the anticancer activity, whereas loss of aromaticity resulted in a complete loss of 6-gingerol’s cytotoxic activity. Collectively, the present results would simplify drug design to allow safer and more effective antibreast cancer pharmaceuticals to be designed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9941-9948
Number of pages8
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Allyl 6-gingerol
  • Anticancer drug
  • Breast cancer
  • CF-7
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Doxorubicin
  • Gingerol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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