We report here on the synthesis of a series of mono- and dinuclear gold(I) complexes exhibiting sulfonated bis(NHC) ligands and novel hydroxylated mono(NHC) Au(I) compounds, which were also examined for their biological activities. Initial cell viability assays show strong antiproliferative activities of the hydroxylated mono(NHC) gold compounds (8 > 9 > 10) against 2008 human ovarian cancer cells even after 1 h incubation. In order to gain insight into the mechanism of biological action of the gold compounds, their effect on the pivotal cellular target seleno-enzyme thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), involved in the maintenance of intracellular redox balance, was investigated in depth. The compounds' inhibitory effects on TrxR and glutathione reductase (GR) were studied comparatively, using either the pure proteins or cancer cell extracts. The results show a strong and selective inhibitory effect of TrxR, specifically for the hydroxyl-functionalized NHC gold(I) complexes (8-10). Valuable information on the gold compounds' molecular reactivity with TrxR was gained using the BIAM (biotin-conjugated iodoacetamide) assay and performing competition experiments by mass spectrometry (MS). In good agreement, both techniques suggest the binding affinity of the mono(NHC) Au(I) complexes toward selenols and thiols. Notably, for the first time, bis-carbene formation from mono-carbenes in buffered solution could be observed by MS, which may provide new insights into the speciation mechanisms of bioactive Au(I) NHC complexes. Furthermore, the compounds' interactions with another relevant in cellulo target, namely telomeric G-quadruplex DNA-a higher-order DNA structure playing key roles in telomere function-was investigated by means of FRET melting assays. The lack of interactions with this type of nucleic acid secondary structure support the idea of selective targeting of the hydrophilic Au(I) NHC compounds toward proteins such as TrxR.

Characterization of Hydrophilic Gold(I) N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC) Complexes as Potent TrxR Inhibitors Using Biochemical and Mass Spectrometric Approaches

Scalcon, Valeria
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Tonolo, Federica
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Folda, Alessandra
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Rigobello, Maria Pia
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Casini, Angela
Writing – Review & Editing
2017

Abstract

We report here on the synthesis of a series of mono- and dinuclear gold(I) complexes exhibiting sulfonated bis(NHC) ligands and novel hydroxylated mono(NHC) Au(I) compounds, which were also examined for their biological activities. Initial cell viability assays show strong antiproliferative activities of the hydroxylated mono(NHC) gold compounds (8 > 9 > 10) against 2008 human ovarian cancer cells even after 1 h incubation. In order to gain insight into the mechanism of biological action of the gold compounds, their effect on the pivotal cellular target seleno-enzyme thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), involved in the maintenance of intracellular redox balance, was investigated in depth. The compounds' inhibitory effects on TrxR and glutathione reductase (GR) were studied comparatively, using either the pure proteins or cancer cell extracts. The results show a strong and selective inhibitory effect of TrxR, specifically for the hydroxyl-functionalized NHC gold(I) complexes (8-10). Valuable information on the gold compounds' molecular reactivity with TrxR was gained using the BIAM (biotin-conjugated iodoacetamide) assay and performing competition experiments by mass spectrometry (MS). In good agreement, both techniques suggest the binding affinity of the mono(NHC) Au(I) complexes toward selenols and thiols. Notably, for the first time, bis-carbene formation from mono-carbenes in buffered solution could be observed by MS, which may provide new insights into the speciation mechanisms of bioactive Au(I) NHC complexes. Furthermore, the compounds' interactions with another relevant in cellulo target, namely telomeric G-quadruplex DNA-a higher-order DNA structure playing key roles in telomere function-was investigated by means of FRET melting assays. The lack of interactions with this type of nucleic acid secondary structure support the idea of selective targeting of the hydrophilic Au(I) NHC compounds toward proteins such as TrxR.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3243360
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