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Eur J Med Chem. 2009 Nov;44(11):4353-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2009.05.019. Epub 2009 May 24.

Metals in anticancer therapy: copper(II) complexes as inhibitors of the 20S proteasome.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Selective 20S proteasomal inhibition and apoptosis induction were observed when several lines of cancer cells were treated with a series of copper complexes described as [Cu(L(I))Cl] (1), [Cu(L(I))OAc] (2), and [Cu(HL(I))(L(I))]OAc (3), where HL(I) is the ligand 2,4-diiodo-6-((pyridine-2-ylmethylamino)methyl)phenol. These complexes were synthesized, characterized by means of ESI spectrometry, infrared, UV-visible and EPR spectroscopies, and X-ray diffraction when possible. After full characterization species 1-3 were evaluated for their ability to function as proteasome inhibitors and apoptosis inducers in C4-2B and PC-3 human prostate cancer cells and MCF-10A normal cells. With distinct stoichiometries and protonation states, this series suggests the assignment of species [CuL(I)](+) as the minimal pharmacophore needed for proteasomal chymotryspin-like activity inhibition and permits some initial inference of mechanistic information.

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