Anticancer and biological properties of a Zn-2,6-diacetylpyridine bis(thiosemicarbazone) complex†
Herein, to develop a multi-target anticancer metal agent and achieve a “1 + 1 > 2” pharmaceutical effect, we rationally designed and synthesized five complexes (C1–C5) by synergistically exploiting the properties of Zn(II) and a series of modified 2,6-diacetylpyridine bis(thiosemicarbazone) ligands. By investigating the structure–activity relationships, we found that the binuclear Zn(II) complex (C5) acts against human bladder cancer cells (T-24) with significant cytotoxicity. We subsequently determined the multiple anticancer mechanisms of C5 to T-24 cells, including inhibiting the activity of topoisomerase I (Topo I), blocking the cell cycle in the S phase, and inducing apoptosis and autophagy in T-24 cells. Furthermore, C5 inhibited the migration of T-24 cells and showed a significant cytostatic effect in the T-24 3D spheroid model.