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Chem Soc Rev. 2012 Apr 21;41(8):3179-92. doi: 10.1039/c2cs15299a. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes and DNA--from structural probes to cellular imaging and therapeutics.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.


In the last few decades, coordination complexes based on d(6) metal centres and polypyridyl ligand architectures been developed as structure- and site-specific reversible DNA binding agents. Due to their attractive photophysical properties, much of this research has focused on complexes based on ruthenium(II) centres and, more recently, attention has turned to the use of these complexes in biological contexts. As the rules that govern the cellular uptake and cellular localisation of such systems are determined they are finding numerous applications ranging from imaging to therapeutics. This review illustrates how the interdisciplinary nature of this research-which takes in synthetic chemistry, biophysical and in cellulo studies-makes this an exciting area in which an array of further applications are likely to emerge.

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