Studies on the structures, cytotoxicity and apoptosis mechanism of 8-hydroxylquinoline rhodium(iii) complexes in T-24 cells†
Two rhodium(III) complexes (Rh(OQ)3 (1) and Rh(BrQ)2(CH3OH)Cl (2), HOQ = 8-hydroxyquinoline, HBrQ = 5-bromo-8-hydroxyquinoline) of 8-hydroxylquinoline were synthesized and characterized. By MTT assay, the in vitro cytotoxicity of complexes 1 and 2, compared with HOQ, HBrQ and cisplatin, was evaluated towards a series of tumor cell lines as well as the normal liver cell line HL-7702. Complexes 1 and 2 showed higher cytotoxicity against the tested tumor cell lines than the corresponding ligands, among which T-24 was the most sensitive cell line for complexes 1 and 2 (IC50 = 13.42 μM for 1, 18.91 μM for 2). Compared with cisplatin, complex 1 exhibited higher cytotoxicity against T-24 cells but lower cytotoxicity against HL-7702(IC50 = 15.93 μM). Considering the better cytotoxicity of complex 1 than complex 2 against T-24 cells, the underlying anticancer molecular mechanisms were also investigated. DNA interaction studies revealed that complex 1 interacted with ct-DNA mainly via an intercalative binding mode. Further investigation of intracellular mechanisms revealed that complex 1 caused G2 phase cell cycle arrest and induced T-24 cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent mode. Targeting the mitochondrial pathway, the apoptotic mechanism in T-24 cells treated with 1 was studied by ROS detection, intracellular Ca2+ concentration measurements and caspase-9/3 activity assay, which suggested that complex 1 induced T-24 cell apoptosis by the disruption of mitochondrial-related mechanisms.