Interaction of anticancer Ru(iii) complexes with single stranded and duplex DNA model systems†
The interaction of the anticancer Ru(III) complex AziRu – in comparison with its analogue NAMI-A, currently in advanced clinical trials as an antimetastatic agent – with DNA model systems, both single stranded and duplex oligonucleotides, was investigated using a combined approach, including absorption UV-vis spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD) and electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) techniques. UV-vis absorption spectra of the Ru complexes were recorded at different times in a pseudo-physiological solution, to monitor the ligand exchange processes in the absence and in the presence of the examined oligonucleotides. CD experiments provided information on the overall conformational changes of the DNA model systems induced by these metal complexes. UV- and CD-monitored thermal denaturation studies were performed to analyse the effects of AziRu and NAMI-A on the stability of the duplex structures. ESI-MS experiments, carried out on the oligonucleotide/metal complex mixtures under investigation, allowed us to detect the formation of stable adducts between the guanine-containing oligomers and the ruthenium complexes. These data unambiguously demonstrate that both AziRu and NAMI-A can interact with the DNA model systems. Although very similar in their structures, the two metal compounds manifest a markedly different reactivity with the examined sequences, respectively, with either a naked Ru3+ ion or a Ru(Im)3+ (Im = imidazole) fragment being incorporated into the oligonucleotide structure via stable linkages.