Potent and selective in vitro and in vivo antiproliferative effects of metal–organic trefoil knots
A set of metal–organic trefoil knots (M-TKs) generated by metal-templated self-assembly of a simple pair of chelating ligands were well tolerated in vitro by non-cancer cells but were significantly more potent than cisplatin in both human cancer cells––including those resistant to cisplatin––and in zebrafish embryos. In cultured cells, M-TKs generated reactive oxygen species that triggered apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway without directly disrupting the cell-membrane or damaging nuclear DNA. The cytotoxicity and wide scope for structural variation of M-TKs indicate the potential of synthetic metal–organic knots as a new field of chemical space for pharmaceutical design and development.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection