Synthesis of new allyl palladium complexes bearing purine-based NHC ligands with antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities on human ovarian cancer cell lines
A series of new palladium allyl complexes bearing purine-based carbenes derived from caffeine, theophylline and theobromine have been prepared and characterized by NMR spectroscopy, and elemental analysis and in two cases by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The cytotoxic and proapoptotic activities of compounds have been determined in vitro on human ovarian cancer A2780 and SKOV-3 cell lines. These experiments have shown that the palladium-allyl fragment induces a general cytotoxicity, but the choice of the supporting ligands is of paramount importance for achieving the best results. In particular complexes 4c, 4d and 5d exhibit a higher antiproliferative effect (IC50: 0.09, 0.81 and 0.85 μM respectively) than cisplatin (IC50: 1.5 μM) on A2780 cells, and 4d (IC50: 1.7 μM vs. 5.94 μM) on SKOV-3 cell line. Moreover in many cases it has been proved that the cytotoxicity of our complexes is associated with the induction of apoptosis.