Bis(pyrazol-1-yl)- and bis(3,5-dimethylpyrazol-1-yl)-acetates were conjugated with the 2-hydroxyethylester and 2-aminoethylamide derivatives of the antineoplastic drug lonidamine to prepare Cu(I) and Cu(II) complexes that might act through synergistic mechanisms of action due to the presence of lonidamine and copper in the same chemical entity. Synchrotron radiation-based complementary techniques [X-ray photorlectron spectroscopy and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS)] were used to characterize the electronic and molecular structures of the complexes and the local structure around the copper ion (XAFS) in selected complexes. All complexes showed significant antitumor activity, proving to be more effective than the reference drug cisplatin in a panel of human tumor cell lines, and were able to overcome oxaliplatin and multidrug resistance. Noticeably, these Cu complexes appeared much more effective than cisplatin against 3D spheroids of pancreatic PSN-1 cancer cells; among these, PPh3-containing Cu(I) complex 15 appeared to be the most promising derivative. Mechanistic studies revealed that 15 induced cancer cell death by means of an apoptosis-alternative cell death.
Del Bello, F., Pellei, M., Bagnarelli, L., Santini, C., Giorgioni, G., Piergentili, A., et al. (2022). Cu(I) and Cu(II) Complexes Based on Lonidamine-Conjugated Ligands Designed to Promote Synergistic Antitumor Effects. INORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 61(12), 4919-4937 [10.1021/acs.inorgchem.1c03658].