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Mixed-Ligand Copper(II)-phenolate Complexes:  Effect of Coligand on Enhanced DNA and Protein Binding, DNA Cleavage, and Anticancer Activity

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posted on 14.01.2020, 19:47 by Venugopal Rajendiran, Ramasamy Karthik, Mallayan Palaniandavar, Helen Stoeckli-Evans, Vaiyapuri Subbarayan Periasamy, Mohammad Abdulkader Akbarsha, Bangalore Suresh Srinag, Hanumanthappa Krishnamurthy
The copper(II) complex [Cu(tdp)(ClO4)]·0.5H2O (1), where H(tdp) is the tetradentate ligand 2-[(2-(2-hydroxyethylamino)ethylimino)methyl]phenol, and the mixed ligand complexes [Cu(tdp)(diimine)]+ (25), where diimine is 2,2‘-bipyridine (bpy) (2), 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) (3), 3,4,7,8-tetramethyl-1,10-phenanthroline (tmp) (4), and dipyrido-[3,2-d:2‘,3‘-f]-quinoxaline (dpq) (5), have been isolated and characterized by analytical and spectral methods. Complexes 1 and [Cu(tdp)(phen)]ClO4 (3) have been structurally characterized, and their coordination geometries around copper(II) are described as distorted octahedral. The equatorially coordinated ethanolic oxygen in 1 is displaced to an axial position upon incorporating the strongly chelating phen, as in 3. The solution structures of all the complexes have been assessed to be square-based using electronic absorption and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The interaction of the complexes with calf thymus DNA (CT DNA) has been explored by using absorption, emission, and circular dichroic spectral and viscometric studies, and modes of DNA binding for the complexes have been proposed. Absorption spectral (K b = 0.071 ± 0.005 (2), 0.90 ± 0.03 (3), 7.0 ± 0.2 (4), 9.0 ± 0.1 × 105 M-1 (5)), emission spectral (K app = 4.6 (1), 7.8 (2), 10.0 (3), 12.5 (4), 25.0 × 105 M-1 (5)), and viscosity measurements reveal that 5 interacts with DNA more strongly than the other complexes through partial intercalation of the extended planar ring of the coordinated dpq with the DNA base stack. Interestingly, only complex 4 causes a B to A conformational change upon binding DNA. All the complexes hydrolytically cleave pBR322 supercoiled DNA in 10% DMF/5 mM Tris-HCl/50 mM NaCl buffer at pH 7.1 in the absence of an activating agent, and the cleavage efficiency varies in the order 5 > 3 > 2 > 4 > 1 with 5 displaying the highest K cat value (5.47 ± 0.10 h-1). The same order of cleavage is observed for the oxidative cleavage of DNA in the presence of ascorbic acid as a reducing agent. Interestingly, of all the complexes, only 5 displays efficient photonuclease activity through double-strand DNA breaks upon irradiation with 365 nm light through a mechanistic pathway involving hydroxyl radicals. The protein binding ability of 15 has been also monitored by using the plasma protein bovine serum albumin (BSA), and 4 exhibits a protein binding higher than that of the other complexes. Further, the anticancer activity of the complexes on human cervical epidermoid carcinoma cell line (ME180) has been examined. Interestingly, the observed IC50 values reveal that complex 4, which effects conformational change on DNA and binds to BSA more strongly, exhibits a cytotoxicity higher than the other complexes. It also exhibits approximately 100 and 6 times more potency than cisplatin and mitomycin C for 24 and 48 h incubation times, respectively, suggesting that 4 can be explored further as a potential anticancer drug. Complexes 4 and 5 mediate the arrest of S and G2/M phases in the cell cycle progression at 24 h harvesting time, which progress into apoptosis.