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Phosphinogold(I) Dithiocarbamate Complexes: Effect of the Nature of Phosphine Ligand on Anticancer Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2015 by Frankline K. Keter, Ilia A. Guzei, Margo Nell, Werner E. van Zyl, James Darkwa
The reactions of potassium salts of the dithiocarbamates L {where L = pyrazolyldithiocarbamate (L1), 3,5-dimethylpyrazolyldithiocarbamate (L2), or indazolyldithiocarbamate (L3)} with the gold precursors [AuCl­(PPh3)], [Au2Cl2­(dppe)], [Au2Cl2­(dppp)], or [Au2Cl2­(dpph)] lead to the new gold­(I) complexes [AuL(PPh3)] (13), [Au2L2­(dppe)] (46), [(Au2L2)­(dppp)] (79), and [Au2(L)(dpph)] (1012) {where dppe = 1,2-bis­(diphenylphosphino)­ethane, dppp = 1,3-bis­(diphenylphosphino)­propane, and dpph = 1,6-bis­(diphenylphosphino)­hexane}. These gold compounds were characterized by a combination of NMR and infrared spectroscopy, microanalysis, and mass spectrometry; and in selected cases by single-crystal X-ray crystallography. Compounds 46, which have dppe ligands, are unstable in solution for prolonged periods, with 4 readily transforming to the Au18 cluster [Au18S8­(dppe)6]­Cl2 (4a) in dichloromethane. Compounds 13 and 712 are all active against human cervical epithelioid carcinoma (HeLa) cells, but the most active compounds are 10 and 11, with IC50 values of 0.51 μM and 0.14 μM, respectively. Compounds 10 and 11 are more selective toward HeLa cells than they are toward normal cells, with selectivities of 25.0 and 70.5, respectively. Further tests, utilizing the 60-cell-line Developmental Therapeutics Program at the National Cancer Institute (U.S.A.), showed 10 and 11 to be active against nine other types of cancers.