A golden future in medicinal inorganic chemistry: the promise of anticancer gold organometallic compounds
From wedding rings on fingers to stained glass windows, by way of Olympic medals, gold has been highly prized for millennia. Nowadays, organometallic gold compounds occupy an important place in the field of medicinal inorganic chemistry due to their unique chemical properties with respect to gold coordination compounds. In fact, several studies have proved that they can be used to develop highly efficient metal-based drugs with possible applications in the treatment of cancer. This Perspective summarizes the results obtained for different families of bioactive organometallic gold compounds including cyclometallated gold(III) complexes with C,N-donor ligands, gold(I) and gold(I/III) N-heterocyclic (NHC) carbene complexes, as well as gold(I) alkynyl complexes, with promising anticancer effects. Most importantly, we will focus on recent developments in the field and discuss the potential of this class of organometallic compounds in relation to their versatile chemistry and innovative mechanisms of action.