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Oncotarget. 2017 May 2;8(18):29823-29832. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.16161.

Salicylate •Phenanthroline copper (II) complex induces apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer cells.

Fan L1,2, Tian M3, Liu Y1,2, Deng Y1,2, Liao Z3,4, Xu J1,2.

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School of Medicine, Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430056, China.
Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Chemical Materials and Devices, Ministry of Education, Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430056, China.
Department of Radiation and Medical Oncology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China.
Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behavior, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China.


In this study, we investigated anti-tumor activity and associated molecular mechanism of action of Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex in triple-negative breast cancer. Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex inhibited the growth of four breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, T47D, MDA-MB-231 and BT-20) and induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. The effect was more profound in MDA-MB-231 and BT-20 triple-negative breast cancer cell lines. Western blot showed that the expression of the apoptosis-related protein Bcl-2, Bcl-xl and survivin was significantly reduced in MDA-MB-231 after treatment with Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex. In vivo, Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex administration significantly attenuated tumor growth of MDA-MB-231 xenografts, and the expression levels of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and survivin were reduced as measured by immunohistochemical staining. These data suggest that Salicylate ●Phenanthroline Copper (II) Complex is a promising novel therapeutic drug for triple-negative breast cancer and warrants further study.


Cu(sal)(phen); TNBC; anti-apoptotic protein; apoptosis; cell growth

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