A mechanistic approach for the DNA binding of chiral enantiomeric L- and D-tryptophan-derived metal complexes of 1,2-DACH: cleavage and antitumor activity.

PMID 20928895


A new chiral series of potential antitumor metal-based complexes 1-3(a and b) of L- and D-tryptophan have been synthesized and thoroughly characterized. Both enantiomers of 1-3 bind DNA noncovalently via phosphate interaction with slight preference of metal center for covalent coordination to nucleobases. The K(b) values of L-enantiomer, however, possess higher propensity for DNA binding in comparison with the D-enantiomeric analogs. The relative trend in K(b) values is as follows: 2(a) > 2(b) > 3(a) > 1(a) > 3(b) > 1(b). These observations together with the findings of circular dichoric and fluorescence studies reveal maximal potential of L-enantiomeric form of copper complex to bind DNA, thereby exerting its therapeutic effect. The complex 2a exhibits a remarkable DNA cleavage activity with pBR322DNA in the presence of different activators such as H(2) O(2) , ascorbic acid, 3-mercaptopropionic acid, and glutathione, suggesting the involvement of active oxygen species for the DNA scission. In vitro anticancer activity of complexes 1-3(a) were screened against 14 different human carcinoma cell lines of different histological origin, and the results reveal that 2a shows significant antitumor activity in comparison with both 1a and 3a and is particularly selective for MIAPACA2 (pancreatic cancer cell line).