• Fast, facile and solvent‐free dry melt synthesis of oxovanadium(IV) complexes: Simple design with high potency towards cancerous cells

      Zegke, Markus; Spencer, H.L.M.; Lord, Rianne M. (2019-09)
      A range of oxobis(phenyl‐1,3‐butanedione) vanadium(IV) complexes have been successfully synthesized from cheap starting materials and a simple and solvent‐free one‐pot dry‐melt reaction. This direct, straightforward, fast and alternative approach to inorganic synthesis has the potential for a wide range of applications. Analytical studies confirm their successful synthesis, purity and solid‐state coordination, and we report the complexes’ uses as potential drug candidates for the treatment of cancer. After a 24‐hour incubation of A549 lung carcinoma cells with the compounds, they reveal cytotoxicity values 11‐fold greater than cisplatin, and remain non‐toxic towards normal cell types. Additionally, the complexes are stable over a range of physiological pH values and show the potential for interactions with BSA.
    • Pseudo electron-deficient organometallics: limited reactivity towards electron-donating ligands

      Pitto-Barry, Anaïs; Lupan, A.; Zegke, Markus; Swift, Thomas; Attia, A.A.A.; Lord, Rianne M.; Barry, Nicolas P.E. (2017)
      Half-sandwich metal complexes are of considerable interest in medicine, material, and nanomaterial chemistry. The design of libraries of such complexes with particular reactivity and properties is therefore a major quest. Here, we report the unique and peculiar reactivity of eight apparently 16-electron half-sandwich metal (ruthenium, osmium, rhodium, and iridium) complexes based on benzene-1,2-dithiolato and 3,6-dichlorobenzene-1,2-dithiolato chelating ligands. These electron-deficient complexes do not react with electron-donor pyridine derivatives, even with the strong σ-donor 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) ligand. The Ru, Rh, and Ir complexes accept electrons from the triphenylphosphine ligand (σ-donor, π-acceptor), whilst the Os complexes were found to be the first examples of non-electron-acceptor electron-deficient metal complexes. We rationalized these unique properties by a combination of experimental techniques and DFT/TDFT calculations. The synthetic versatility offered by this family of complexes, the low reactivity at the metal center, and the facile functionalization of the non-innocent benzene ligands is expected to allow the synthesis of libraries of pseudo electron-deficient half-sandwich complexes with unusual properties for a large range of applications.
    • β‐Ketoiminato Iridium(III) Organometallic Complexes: Selective Cytotoxicity towards Colorectal Cancer Cells HCT116 p53‐/‐

      Lord, Rianne M.; Zegke, Markus; Henderson, I.R.; Pask, C.M.; Shepherd, H.J.; McGowan, P.C. (2019-01-07)
      This report presents a new library of organometallic iridium(III) compounds of the type [Cp*IrCl(L)] (Cp*=pentamethylcyclopentadienyl and L=a functionalized β‐ketoiminato ligand) showing moderate to high cytotoxicity against a range of cancer cell lines. All compounds show increased activity towards colorectal cancer, with preferential activity observed against the immortalized p53‐null colorectal cell line, HCT116 p53‐/‐, with sensitivity factors (SF) up to 26.7. Additionally, the compounds have excellent selectivity for cancerous cells when tested against normal cell types, with selectivity ratios (SR) up to 35.6, contrary to that of cisplatin, which is neither selective nor specific for cancerous cells (SF=0.43 and SR=0.7–2.3). This work provides a preliminary understanding of the cytotoxicity of iridium compounds in the absence of p53 and has potential applications in treatment of cancers for which the p53 gene is absent or mutant.