The NAMI A – human ferritin system: a biophysical characterization†
The reaction of the antimetastatic ruthenium(III) drug NAMI A with human H-chain ferritin (HuHf) was investigated through a variety of biophysical methods. We observed that the addition of HuHf to NAMI A solutions significantly increases the rate of spontaneous NAMI A hydrolysis suggesting the occurrence of a direct metallodrug–protein interaction. The resulting hydrolyzed Ru species binds the protein mostly forming a relatively tight 1 : 1 ruthenium/ferritin (subunit) adduct that was then separated and characterized. Notably, this adduct shows a characteristic CD spectrum in the visible region, which is diagnostic of the existence of at least one protein bound ruthenium center. The crystal structure of this NAMI A/HuHf adduct was subsequently solved at 1.58 Å resolution; clear evidence is given for the selective binding of a single Ru ion to His105 of each subunit with concomitant release of all other original Ru ligands in agreement with previous observations. We also noted that NAMI A produces a partial inhibition of HuHf ferroxidase activity. The implications of the above results are discussed.