Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003)

Remarkable enhancement in photocytotoxicity and hydrolytic stability of curcumin on binding to an oxovanadium(IV) moiety.

PMID 25623080


Oxovanadium(IV) complexes of polypyridyl and curcumin-based ligands, viz. [VO(cur)(L)Cl] (1, 2) and [VO(scur)(L)Cl] (3, 4), where L is 1,10-phenanthroline (phen in 1 and 3), dipyrido[3,2-a:2',3'-c]phenazine (dppz in 2 and 4), Hcur is curcumin and Hscur is diglucosylcurcumin, were synthesized and characterized and their cellular uptake, photocytotoxicity, intracellular localization, DNA binding, and DNA photo-cleavage activity studied. Complex [VO(cur)(phen)Cl] (1) has V(IV)N2O3Cl distorted octahedral geometry as evidenced from its crystal structure. The sugar appended complexes show significantly higher uptake into the cancer cells compared to their normal analogues. The complexes are remarkably photocytotoxic in visible light (400-700 nm) giving an IC50 value of <5 μM in HeLa, HaCaT and MCF-7 cells with no significant dark toxicity. The green emission of the complexes was used for cellular imaging. Predominant cytosolic localization of the complexes 1-4 to a lesser extent into the nucleus was evidenced from confocal imaging. The complexes as strong binders of calf thymus DNA displayed photocleavage of supercoiled pUC19 DNA in red light by generating ˙OH radicals as the ROS. The cell death is via an apoptotic pathway involving the ROS. Binding to the VO(2+) moiety has resulted in stability against any hydrolytic degradation of curcumin along with an enhancement of its photocytotoxicity.

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