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Biochemistry. 2011 Dec 20;50(50):10919-28. doi: 10.1021/bi2015822. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Selective cytotoxicity of rhodium metalloinsertors in mismatch repair-deficient cells.

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Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States.


Mismatches in DNA occur naturally during replication and as a result of endogenous DNA damaging agents, but the mismatch repair (MMR) pathway acts to correct mismatches before subsequent rounds of replication. Rhodium metalloinsertors bind to DNA mismatches with high affinity and specificity and represent a promising strategy to target mismatches in cells. Here we examine the biological fate of rhodium metalloinsertors bearing dipyridylamine ancillary ligands in cells deficient in MMR versus those that are MMR-proficient. These complexes are shown to exhibit accelerated cellular uptake which permits the observation of various cellular responses, including disruption of the cell cycle, monitored by flow cytometry assays, and induction of necrosis, monitored by dye exclusion and caspase inhibition assays, that occur preferentially in the MMR-deficient cell line. These cellular responses provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the selective activity of this novel class of targeted anticancer agents.

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