• Designing anticancer copper(II) complexes by optimizing 2-pyridine-thiosemicarbazone ligands

      Deng, J.; Yu, P.; Zhang, Z.; Wang, J.; Cai, J.; Wu, Na (Anna); Sun, H.; Liang, H.; Yang, F. (2018-10)
      To develop potential next-generation metal anticancer agents, we designed and synthesised five Cu(II) 2-pyridine-thiosemicarbazone complexes by modifying the hydrogen atom at the N-4 position of ligands, and then investigated their structure-activity relationships and anticancer mechanisms. Modification of the N-4 position with different groups caused significant differences in cellular uptake and produced superior antitumor activity. Cu complexes arrested the cell cycle at S phase, leading to down-regulation of levels of cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinases and up-regulation of expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. Cu complexes exerted chemotherapeutic effects via activating p53 and inducing production of reactive oxygen species to regulate expression of the B-cell lymphoma-2 family of proteins, causing a change in the mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c to form a dimer with apoptosis protease activating factor-1, resulting in activation of caspase-9/3 to induce apoptosis. In addition, Cu complexes inhibited telomerase by down-regulating the c-myc regulator gene and expression of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase.