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A New Family of Doubly Cyclopalladated Diimines. A Remarkable Effect of the Linker between the Metalated Units on Their Cytotoxicity

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posted on 09.06.2014 by Joan Albert, Ramon Bosque, Magali Cadena, Lucía D’Andrea, Jaume Granell, Asensio González, Josefina Quirante, Carmen Calvis, Ramon Messeguer, Josefa Badía, Laura Baldomà, Teresa Calvet, Mercè Font-Bardia
The cyclopalladation of a series of symmetric diimines with the formula (RC6H4CHNZ)2, where Z = CH2 or (CH2)2OCH2 and R = p-Cl, p-OMe, p-NO2, and o-Cl, is described. Optimal conditions to obtain the dimetalated compounds were found to be palladium­(II) acetate, in toluene, at 60 °C and with a reaction time of 2–4 h. The reactivity of the dimetalated compounds with monodentate, bidentate, and bis­(monodentate) Lewis bases was also studied. The cytotoxic activity of some selected compounds was evaluated against a panel of adenocarcinoma cell lines (colon HCT116 and breast MCF7 and MDA-MB231). Compounds containing the fragment NCH2CH2OCH2­CH2OCH2CH2N exhibited a remarkable cytotoxic activity in the three cancer cells assayed, but complexes containing the NCH2CH2N fragment showed no activity. It seems that the length and flexibility of the central saturated chain in the imine molecule, as well as its lipophilicity and hydrophilicity, explain the different cytotoxicity of the two series of coordination compounds here reported.