Journal of biological inorganic chemistry : JBIC : a publication of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

Novel antitumor adamantane-azole gold(I) complexes as potential inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase.

PMID 26841791


Gold complexes that could act as antitumor agents have attracted great attention. Heterocyclic compounds and their metal complexes display a broad spectrum of pharmacological properties. The present study reports the preparation and characterization of four novel gold(I) complexes containing tertiary phosphine and new ligands 5-adamantyl-1,3-thiazolidine-2-thione, 3-methyladamantane-1,3,4-oxadiazole-2-thione. Spectroscopic data suggest that gold is coordinated to the exocyclic sulfur atom in all cases, as confirmed by X-ray crystallographic data obtained for complex (1) and supported by quantum-mechanical calculations. The cytotoxicity of the compounds has been evaluated in comparison to cisplatin and auranofin in three different tumor cell lines, colon cancer (CT26WT), metastatic skin melanoma (B16F10), mammary adenocarcinoma (4T1) and kidney normal cell (BHK-21). The gold complexes were more active than their respective free ligands and able to inhibit the thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) enzyme, even in the presence of albumin. Molecular modeling studies were carried out to understand the interaction between the compounds and the TrxR enzyme, considered as a potential target for new compounds in cancer treatment. The docking results show that the adamantane ring is essential to stabilize the ligand-enzyme complex prior the formation of covalent bond with gold center. The structure of the new gold compounds was established on the basis of spectroscopic data, DFT calculations and X-ray diffraction. TrxR inhibition was evaluated and the results correlated with the assays in tumor cells, suggesting the TrxR as possible target for these compounds.