Copper(II) Phenanthroline-Based Complexes as Potential AntiCancer Drugs: A Walkthrough on the Mechanisms of Action


MASURI Sebastiano VAŇHARA Petr CABIDDU Maria Grazia MORÁŇ Lukáš HAVEL Josef CADONI Enzo PIVETTA Tiziana

Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Molecules
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords cancer; coordination compounds; copper; 1-10-phenanthroline; anticancer chemotherapy; chemoresistance; cell stress response
Description Copper is an endogenous metal ion that has been studied to prepare a new antitumoral agent with less side-effects. Copper is involved as a cofactor in several enzymes, in ROS production, in the promotion of tumor progression, metastasis, and angiogenesis, and has been found at high levels in serum and tissues of several types of human cancers. Under these circumstances, two strategies are commonly followed in the development of novel anticancer Copper-based drugs: the sequestration of free Copper ions and the synthesis of Copper complexes that trigger cell death. The latter strategy has been followed in the last 40 years and many reviews have covered the anticancer properties of a broad spectrum of Copper complexes, showing that the activity of these compounds is often multi factored. In this work, we would like to focus on the anticancer properties of mixed Cu(II) complexes bearing substituted or unsubstituted 1,10-phenanthroline based ligands and different classes of inorganic and organic auxiliary ligands. For each metal complex, information regarding the tested cell lines and the mechanistic studies will be reported and discussed. The exerted action mechanisms were presented according to the auxiliary ligand/s, the metallic centers, and the increasing complexity of the compound structures.
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