A nuclear permeable Ru(ii)-based photoactivated chemotherapeutic agent towards a series of cancer cells: in vitro and in vivo studies.Dalton Trans. 2019 May 15; 48(19):6492-6500.DT
Ru(ii) polypyridyl complexes which can undergo photo-induced ligand dissociation and DNA covalent binding are considered as potential photoactivated chemotherapeutic (PACT) agents. Herein four pyridine-2-sulfonate (py-SO3-) ligand based Ru(ii) complexes [Ru(N-N)2(py-SO3)]+ (1-4) were synthesized and studied. All the complexes can undergo fast py-SO3- ligand dissociation and DNA covalent binding upon visible light irradiation. However, only complex 4 exhibited high photo-induced anticancer activities towards a series of cancer cells, with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values in 100-300 nM regions and phototoxicity index (PI) values of about 100. In particular, complex 4 can also kill cisplatin resistant SKOV-3 and A549 cancer cells with IC50 values in 200-400 nM regions and PI values of about 50, which should be the first report of Ru(ii) based PACT agents that are also effective towards cisplatin resistant cancer cells. Complex 4 exhibited much higher cell uptake and nuclear accumulation levels, which may be the main reasons for its high anticancer activities. The in vivo anticancer experiments indicated that complex 4 can inhibit tumor growth significantly with fewer side effects. Our results may provide guidelines for developing novel photoactivatable Ru(ii) anticancer agents.