Interaction of rac-[M(diimine)3]2+ (M = Co, Ni) complexes with CT DNA: Role of 5,6-dmp ligand on DNA binding and cleavage and cytotoxicity

Sethu Ramakrishnan, Eringadothi Suresh, Anvarbatcha Riyasdeen, Mohamad Abdulkadhar Akbarsha, Mallayan Palaniandavar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The complexes [Co(diimine)3](ClO4)21-3 and [Ni(diimine)3](ClO4)24-6, where diimine = 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) (1,4), 5,6-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline (5,6-dmp) (2,5) and dipyrido[3,2-d:2′,3′-f]quinoxaline (dpq) (3,6), have been isolated, characterized and their interaction with CT DNA studied by using a host of physical methods. The X-ray crystal structures of rac-[Co(5,6-dmp) 3](ClO4)22 and rac-[Ni(5,6-dmp) 3](ClO4)25 have been determined and the isostructural and also isomorphous complex cations possess distorted octahedral coordination geometries. The absorption spectral titrations of the complexes with DNA reveal that the CT DNA binding affinity (Kb) of the complexes varies as 3 > 2 > 1; 6 > 5 > 4. The Ni(ii) complexes display DNA binding stronger than the corresponding Co(ii) analogues, which is expected of their bigger sizes. The higher DNA binding affinity of 3 and 6 is due to the involvement in partial insertion of the extended phen ring in between the DNA base pairs. In contrast, 2 and 5 interact with DNA in the major groove through hydrophobic forces involving the methyl groups on the 5,6 positions of phen ring. An enhancement in relative viscosities of DNA upon binding to 1-6 is consistent with the DNA binding affinities. The CD spectral studies show only an induced CD band on the characteristic positive band of CT DNA for both the phen (1,4) complexes. In contrast, the 5,6-dmp (2,5) and dpq (3,6) complexes bound to CT DNA exhibit biphasic CD signals in place of the positive CD band and the negative helicity band disappears. This reveals that the complexes bind to DNA enantiopreferentially and effect changes in secondary structure of DNA. The CV and DPV responses indicate that the DNA-bound dpq complexes are stabilized in the lower oxidation state of Co(ii) more than in the Co(iii) oxidation state. The prominent DNA cleavage abilities of 1-3 observed in the presence of H 2O2 (200 μM) follows the order 2 > 1 > 3 with efficiencies of more than 90% even at 10 μM complex concentration. Interestingly, Ni(ii) complexes 4-6 exhibit higher cytotoxicity (IC 50: 1, 28.0; 2, 15.0; 3, 20.0; 4, 8.0; 5, 2.0; 6, 2.0 μM at 48 h; IC50: 1, 30.0; 2, 20.0; 3, 25.0; 4, 10.0; 5, 3.0; 6, 3.0 μM at 24 h) against human breast cancer (MCF 7) cell lines than the Co(ii) complexes 1-3 as well as cisplatin in spite of their inability to cleave DNA. Also, the 5,6-dmp complex 5 shows cytotoxicity higher than the dpq complex 6 at 24 h incubation time and both 5 and 6 display apoptotic and necrotic modes of cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3245-3256
Number of pages12
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 7 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry

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