Formylation of a metathesis-derived ansa-ferrocene: a simple route to anticancer organometallics†
Formylation of ansa-ferrocene, obtained through the ruthenium-catalysed olefin metathesis, yields two separable, planar chiral 1,3- and 1,2-ansa-ferrocene aldehydes. Single-crystal X-ray structure analysis reveals that both regioisomers crystallize with spontaneous resolution of the racemate in the chiral P212121 space group with one molecule in the asymmetric unit. The major 1,3-isomer was further transformed into a conjugate with 1,2,3-triazole and uracil using “click” chemistry as the key synthetic step. This inorganic–organic hybrid displays anticancer activity (MCF-7, A549, MDA-MB-231 cell lines) with EC50 values comparable to those for cisplatin.