Pro-apoptotic activity of ruthenium 1-methylimidazole complex on non-small cell lung cancer

Júlia Scaff Moreira Dias, Henrique Vieira Reis Silva, Guilherme Álvaro Ferreira-Silva, Marisa Ionta, Charlane Cimini Corrêa, Fernando Almeida, Legna Colina-Vegas, Marília Imaculada Frazão Barbosa, Antonio Carlos Doriguetto
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 2018, 187: 1-13
Herein, novel ruthenium(II) complexes containing 1-methylimidazole as a ligand were obtained with the following formulas: [RuCl(1Meim)(dppb)(bpy)]Cl (1), [RuCl(1Meim)(dppb)(4,4'-DMbpy)]Cl (2), [RuCl(1Meim)(dppb)(5,5'-DMbpy)]Cl (3) and [RuCl(1Meim)(dppb)(phen)]Cl (4) where, 1Meim = 1-methylimidazole, dppb = 1,4-Bis(diphenylphosphino)butane, bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine, 4,4'-DMbpy = 4,4'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyridine, 5,5'-DMbpy = 5,5'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyridine and phen = 1,10-phenanthroline. Additionally, crystal structures containing the cations of (1) and (3) were obtained when the counter ion was exchanged, leading to the formation of [RuCl(1Meim)(dppb)(bpy)]PF6 (5) and [RuCl(1Meim)(dppb)(5,5'-DMbpy)]PF6 methanol solvate (6) where PF6  = hexafluorophosphate, showing one 1-methylimidazole molecule coordinated through the imidazole nitrogen, as expected. The complexes were characterized by elemental analysis, molar conductivity, infrared and UV-Vis spectroscopy, 1 H, 13 C{1 H} and 31 P{1 H} NMR, mass spectrometry and cyclic voltammetry. The interactions of complexes 1-4 with DNA and human serum albumin (HSA) were evaluated, and the cytotoxicity profiles of compounds 1-4 were determined using four different tumor cell lines derived from human cancers (melanoma: HT-144, colon: HCT-8, breast: MDA-MB-231 and lung: A549). A higher cytotoxic activity was observed for compound (3) against non-small cell lung cancer (A549). Complex (3) inhibited the clonogenic capacity and cell cycle progression of A549 cells and induced apoptosis involving mitochondrial pathway activation. Therefore, the data obtained in the present study support further investigations concerning molecular targets of complex (3) in non-small cell lung cancer.

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