Multiply Intercalator-Substituted Cu(II) Cyclen Complexes as DNA Condensers and DNA/RNA Synthesis Inhibitors
J. Hormann, J. Malina, O. Lemke, M. J. Hülsey, S. Wedepohl, J. Potthoff, C. Schmidt, I. Ott, B. G. Keller, V. Brabec, N. Kulak – 2018
Many drugs that are applied in anticancer therapy such as the anthracycline doxorubicin contain DNA-intercalating 9,10-anthraquinone (AQ) moieties. When Cu(II) cyclen complexes were functionalized with up to three (2-anthraquinonyl)methyl substituents, they efficiently inhibited DNA and RNA synthesis resulting in high cytotoxicity (selective for cancer cells) accompanied by DNA condensation/aggregation phenomena. Molecular modeling suggests an unusual bisintercalation mode with only one base pair between the two AQ moieties and the metal complex as a linker. A regioisomer, in which the AQ moieties point in directions unfavorable for such an interaction, had a much weaker biological activity. The ligands alone and corresponding Zn(II) complexes (used as redox inert control compounds) also exhibited lower activity.