A new design for nucleolipid-based Ru(iii) complexes as anticancer agents†
In continuation with our studies concerning the synthesis, characterization and biological evaluation of nucleolipidic Ru(III) complexes, a novel design for this family of potential anticancer agents is presented here. As a model compound, a new uridine-based nucleolipid has been prepared, named HoUrRu, following a simple and versatile synthetic procedure, and converted into a Ru(III) salt. Stable formulations of this highly functionalized Ru(III) complex have been obtained by co-aggregation with either the zwitterionic lipid POPC or the cationic DOTAP, which have been subjected to an in-depth microstructural characterization, including DLS, SANS and EPR measurements. The in vitro bioactivity profile of HoUrRu, as a pure compound or in formulation with POPC or DOTAP, reveals high antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 and WiDr human cancer cell lines.