Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Amanda J. Krzysiak


Chalcones are a diphenyl compound that serves as a natural precursor to flavonoids in plants. Chalcones have been shown to have anticancer and antimicrobial activities. Chemoprevention activity of chalcones are of high interest in medicinal chemistry because of the simple laboratory synthesis and modification via Claisen-Schmidt condensation. Previously this lab created and screened a library of synthetic chalcones against A549 lung adenocarcinoma cell line for antiproliferation properties. We identified a strong drug candidate (4-trifluoromethoxy substituted chalcone) for A549 growth inhibition. However, the cause of inhibition by the substituted chalcone remains to be identified We began to explore the mechanism of action of this drug by looking at physical characteristics of cell death with microscopy. Then, we conducted viability and cytotoxic assays such as MTS and trypan blue for cell death quantification. Lactate dehydrogenase assays were used to biochemically determine necrotic activity. Lastly, western blots were performed to determine the presence of the apoptotic protein Procaspase-3. Here we present the results of our investigation into the apoptotic and necrotic cell death of lung cancer A549 cells by a chalcone derivative.