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Organometallics. 2013 Feb 11;32(3):903-914. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Metal-Arene Complexes with Indolo[3,2-c]-quinolines: Effects of Ruthenium vs Osmium and Modifications of the Lactam Unit on Intermolecular Interactions, Anticancer Activity, Cell Cycle, and Cellular Accumulation.

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Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Vienna , Währinger Strasse 42, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Six novel ruthenium(II)- and osmium(II)-arene complexes with three modified indolo[3,2-c]quinolines have been synthesized in situ starting from 2-aminoindoloquinolines and 2-pyridinecarboxaldehyde in the presence of [M(p-cymene)Cl(2)](2) (M = Ru, Os) in ethanol. All complexes have been characterized by elemental analysis, spectroscopic techniques ((1)H, (13)C NMR, IR, UV-vis), and ESI mass spectrometry, while four complexes were investigated by X-ray diffraction. The complexes have been tested for antiproliferative activity in vitro in A549 (non-small cell lung), SW480 (colon), and CH1 (ovarian) human cancer cell lines and showed IC(50) values between 1.3 and >80 μM. The effects of Ru vs Os and modifications of the lactam unit on intermolecular interactions, antiproliferative activity, and cell cycle are reported. One ruthenium complex and its osmium analogue have been studied for anticancer activity in vivo applied both intraperitoneally and orally against the murine colon carcinoma model CT-26. Interestingly, the osmium(II) complex displayed significant growth-inhibitory activity in contrast to its ruthenium counterpart, providing stimuli for further investigation of this class of compounds as potential antitumor drugs.

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