Résumé : To overcome the intrinsic resistance of cancer cells to apoptotic stimuli, we designed and synthesized approximately 50 novel β-carbolines structurally related to harmine. Harmine is known for its anticancer properties and is a DYRK1A inhibitor. Of the synthesized compounds, the most active in terms of growth inhibition of five cancer cell lines are cytostatic and approximately 100 times more potent than harmine but demonstrated no DYRK1A inhibitory activity. These novel β-carbolines display similar growth inhibitory activity in cancer cells that are sensitive and resistant to apoptotic stimuli. Using ChemGPS-NP, we found that the more active β-carbolines are all more lipophilic and larger than the less active compounds. Lastly, on the basis of the NCI human tumor cell line anticancer drug screen and the NCI COMPARE algorithm, it appears that some of these compounds, including 5a and 5k, seem to act as protein synthesis inhibitors. © 2012 American Chemical Society.