Journal of cellular physiology

Therapeutic potential of a pyridoxal-based vanadium(IV) complex showing selective cytotoxicity for cancer versus healthy cells.

PMID 23589029


Vanadium compounds can exert anticancer effects, partly due to inhibition of tyrosine phosphatases. Here, we report the effect of N,N'-ethylenebis (pyridoxylideneiminato) vanadium (IV) complex (Pyr2 enV(IV)), that induced 93% and 57% of cell mortality in A375 (human melanoma) and A549 (human lung carcinoma) cells, respectively; the mortality was <24% in other cancer cell lines and in human normal epidermal keratinocytes, lung cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The mechanism of Pyr2 enV(IV) effect relied on apoptosis induction; this was triggered by ROS increase, followed by mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Indeed, the addition of N-acetyl cysteine to cell cultures abated Pyr2 enV(IV)-induced apoptosis. These results disclose the pro-apoptotic activity of Pyr2 enV(IV) and its mechanism, relying on intracellular ROS increase.