Insights into the mechanisms underlying the antiproliferative potential of a Co(II) coordination compound bearing 1,10-phenanthroline-5,6-dione: DNA and protein interaction studies

DV Luis, J Silva, AI Tomaz, RFM de Almeida, M Larguinho, Pedro V. Baptista, LMDRS Martins, TFS Silva, PM Borralho, CMP Rodrigues, A.S. Rodrigues, AJL Pombeiro, Alexandra R. Fernandes

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The very high antiproliferative activity of {[}Co(Cl)(H2O)(phendione)(2)]{[}BF4] (phendione is 1,10-phenanthroline-5,6-dione) against three human tumor cell lines (half-maximal inhibitory concentration below 1 mu M) and its slight selectivity for the colorectal tumor cell line compared with healthy human fibroblasts led us to explore the mechanisms of action underlying this promising antitumor potential. As previously shown by our group, this complex induces cell cycle arrest in S phase and subsequent cell death by apoptosis and it also reduces the expression of proteins typically upregulated in tumors. In the present work, we demonstrate that {[}Co(Cl)(phendione)(2)(H2O)]{[}BF4] (1) does not reduce the viability of nontumorigenic breast epithelial cells by more than 85 \% at 1 mu M, (2) promotes the upregulation of proapoptotic Bax and cell-cycle-related p21, and (3) induces release of lactate dehydrogenase, which is partially reversed by ursodeoxycholic acid. DNA interaction studies were performed to uncover the genotoxicity of the complex and demonstrate that even though it displays K (b) (+/- A standard error of the mean) of (3.48 +/- A 0.03) x 10(5) M-1 and is able to produce double-strand breaks in a concentration-dependent manner, it does not exert any clastogenic effect ex vivo, ruling out DNA as a major cellular target for the complex. Steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy studies are indicative of a strong and specific interaction of the complex with human serum albumin, involving one binding site, at a distance of approximately 1.5 nm for the Trp214 indole side chain with log K (b) similar to 4.7, thus suggesting that this complex can be efficiently transported by albumin in the blood plasma.}}}}
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)787-803
JournalJournal Of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Cobalt
  • 1,10-Phenanthroline-5,6-dione
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA cleavage
  • Human serum albumin

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