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Metal Complexes of Curcumin for Cellular Imaging, Targeting, and Photoinduced Anticancer Activity

Banerjee, Samya and Chakravarty, Akhil R (2015) Metal Complexes of Curcumin for Cellular Imaging, Targeting, and Photoinduced Anticancer Activity. In: ACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH, 48 (7). pp. 2075-2083.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00127


CONSPECTUS: Curcumin is a polyphenolic species. As an active ingredient of turmeric, it is well-known for its traditional medicinal properties. The therapeutic values include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anticancer activity with the last being primarily due to inhibition of the transcription factor NF-kappa B besides affecting several biological pathways to arrest tumor growth and its progression. Curcumin with all these positive qualities has only remained a potential candidate for cancer treatment over the years without seeing any proper usage because of its hydrolytic instability involving the diketo moiety in a cellular medium and its poor bioavailability. The situation has changed considerably in recent years with the observation that curcumin in monoanionic form could be stabilized on binding to a metal ion. The reports from our group and other groups have shown that curcumin in the metal-bound form retains its therapeutic potential. This has opened up new avenues to develop curcumin-based metal complexes as anticancer agents. Zinc(II) complexes of curcumin are shown to be stable in a cellular medium. They display moderate cytotoxicity against prostate cancer and neuroblastoma cell lines. A similar stabilization and cytotoxic effect is reported for (arene)ruthenium(II) complexes of curcumin against a variety of cell lines. The half-sandwich 1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphatricyclo-]decane (RAPTA)-type ruthenium(II) complexes of curcumin are shown to be promising cytotoxic agents with low micromolar concentrations for a series of cancer cell lines. In a different approach, cobalt(III) complexes of curcumin are used for its cellular delivery in hypoxic tumor cells using intracellular agents that reduce the metal and release curcumin as a cytotoxin. Utilizing the photophysical and photochemical properties of the curcumin dye, we have designed and synthesized photoactive curcumin metal complexes that are used for cellular imaging by fluorescence microscopy and damaging the cancer cells on photoactivation in visible light while being minimally toxic in darkness. In this Account, we have made an attempt to review the current status of the chemistry of metal curcumin complexes and present results from our recent studies on curcumin complexes showing remarkable in vitro photocytotoxicity. The undesirable dark toxicity of the complexes can be reduced with suitable choice of the metal and the ancillary ligands in a ternary structure. The complexes can be directed to specific subcellular organelles. Selectivity by targeting cancer cells over normal cells can be achieved with suitable ligand design. We expect that this methodology is likely to provide an impetus toward developing curcumin-based photochemotherapeutics for anticancer treatment and cure.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Inorganic & Physical Chemistry
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2015 06:25
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2015 06:25
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52246

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