Platinum compounds containing the ligand 1,2-diaminocyclohexane (DACH) such as tetraplatin [PtCl4(DACH)] have been found to be active in cisplatin-resistant tumour models. In an attempt to develop novel metal-based drugs with a different therapeutic profile to cisplatin, we have synthesised a series of tin compounds containing the DACH ligand, including the Sn analogue of tetraplatin [SnCl4(DACH)], and the di- and monoorganotin complexes [Ph2Sn(OAc)2(DACH)], [Bu2Sn(OAc)2(DACH)], [PhSnCl3(DACH)], [BuSn(OAc)3(DACH)], [BuSnCl3(DACH)], and [PhSn(OCOCF3)3(DACH)]. Mossbauer and IR spectroscopy indicates that the Sn(DACH) complexes are hexacoordinated with a molecular structure similar to that of tetraplatin. These compounds were tested for potential antitumour activity against a panel of human tumour cell lines, (SW620, SW1116 colon carcinoma, ZR-75-1 breast carcinoma, HT1376 bladder carcinoma, SKOV-3, PA-1 ovarian carcinoma). [Ph2Sn(penicillinate)], [Ph2Sn(OCOCH2NCOCH2NH2)], [Ph2Sn(OAc)2] were included for comparison. The results show that whereas [SnCl4(DACH)] and the monoorganotin complexes had limited or no activity, the diorganotin DACH complexes were cytotoxic with an associated increase in potency on going from diphenyl to dibutyltin, with mean IC50 values of 7.26+/-4.09 micromol ml(-1) for [Ph2Sn(OAc)2(DACH)] and 2.58+/-0.83 micromol ml(-1) for [Bu2Sn(OAc)2(DACH)] across the cell line panel. Comparison with [Ph2Sn(OAc)2] (IC50 0.69-0.43 micromol ml(-1)) indicated that addition of the DACH ligand resulted in a decrease in cytotoxicity but increased differential toxicity across the cell line panel. These results indicate that the diorganotin DACH complexes merit further investigation as potential metal-based antitumour drugs.
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