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Salicylaldehyde thiosemicarbazone copper complexes: impact of hybridization with estrone on cytotoxicity, solution stability and redox activity

Petrasheuskaya, Tatsiana V.; Kiss, Márton A.; Dömötör, Orsolya; Holczbauer, Tamás; May, Nóra V.; Spengler, Gabriella; Kincses, Annamária; Čipak Gašparović, Ana; Frank, Éva; Enyedy, Éva A. (2020) Salicylaldehyde thiosemicarbazone copper complexes: impact of hybridization with estrone on cytotoxicity, solution stability and redox activity. New Journal of Chemistry, 44 (28). pp. 12154-12168. ISSN 1144-0546

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An estrone–salicylaldehyde thiosemicarbazone hybrid (estrone–TSC) containing integrated domains was designed and synthesized with excellent yield via the condensation reaction of thiosemicarbazide and 2-formyl-estrone under optimized microwave reaction conditions. A structurally related bicyclic derivative (thn-TSC) starting from 5, 6, 7, 8-tetrahydro-1-naphtol (th-1-n) was also prepared in addition to their copper(II) complexes. The ligands have somewhat higher pKa values determined for the deprotonation of the hydroxyl group by UV-visible spectrophotometric and fluorometric titrations than the reference compound salicylaldehyde thiosemicarbazone (STSC), and are neutral at physiological pH. The novel conjugates are more lipophilic and possess higher membrane permeability than STSC based on the n-octanol/water partitioning and the parallel artificial membrane permeability assays, respectively. The isolated [Cu(estrone–TSCH−2)] and [Cu(thn-TSCH−2)] complexes were characterized by ESI-MS, UV-visible and EPR spectroscopy and a detailed solution study was performed to reveal their stoichiometry, stability and reduction by glutathione. The crystal structure of the ligand thn-TSC and its complex [Cu(thn-TSCH−1)Cl] was studied by single crystal X-ray diffraction method. The complexes are fairly stable at pH 7.4, the observed stability order is STSC < thn-TSC < estrone–TSC, and are able to oxidize glutathione readily. The novel ligands thn-TSC and estrone–TSC were found to be only moderately cytotoxic against several human cancer cell lines ; however rather low IC50 values were measured in the hormone-responsive MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines (thn-TSC: 3.7 μM, estrone–TSC: 6.4 μM). The copper(II) complexes exhibited high cytotoxicity (IC50 < 0.3–2 μM) and were considerably more cytotoxic than the respective ligands. Low level of reactive oxygen species was measured and a weak GSH depletion was observed for the complexes of thn-TSC and estrone–TSC in SUM159 breast cancer cells, thus their mechanism of action might be related to the induction of oxidative stress.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: hybridization ; solution stability ; redox activity
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Division of Molecular Medicine
Depositing User: Ana Čipak Gašparović
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 14:28
DOI: 10.1039/d0nj01070g

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