We synthesized a series of novel amide derivatives of 5-(p-tolyl)-1-(quinolin-2-yl)pyrazole-3-carboxylic acid and assessed their antiproliferative activities against three human cancer cell lines (Huh7, human liver; MCF7, breast and HCT116, colon carcinoma cell lines) with the sulforhodamine B assay. Compound 4j with 2-chloro-4-pyridinyl group in the amide part exhibited promising cytotoxic activity against all cell lines with IC50 values of 1.6 mu M, 3.3 mu M and 1.1 mu M for Huh7. MCF7 and HCT116 cells, respectively, and produced dramatic cell cycle arrest at SubG1/G1 phase as an indicator of apoptotic cell death induction. On the basis of their high potency in cellular environment, these straightforward pyrazole-3-carboxamide derivatives may possess potential in the design of more potent compounds for intervention with cancer cell proliferation. (C) 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.