Synthetic analogue approach for the functional domains of copper(II) bleomycins and its DNA cleavage activity

Shanta Dhar, Munirathinam Nethaji, Akhil R. Chakravarty

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17 Scopus citations


The dicopper(II) complex [Cu2(R′SSR)2(SO 4)2] (1), where R′SSR is a Schiff base, has been prepared from the reaction of CuSO4·5H2O with the Schiff base N,N′-1,1′-dithiobis(ethylenesalicylaldimine) (H 2RSSR) and structurally characterized by X-ray crystallography. The crystal structure of 1 shows two {Cu(R′SSR)}2+ units linked by two sulfate ligands each showing a η32-binding mode. The Cu ⋯ Cu distance is 4.562(2) Å with each copper having a square pyramidal (4 + 1) CuNO4 coordination geometry. The monoanionic Schiff base R′SSR has a pendant cationic amine -SCH2CH 2NH3+ group which is presumably formed from the hydrolysis of one imine bond of H2RSSR. Complex 1 models the N- and C-terminus domains of bleomycins. The metal centers in 1 are essentially magnetically non-interacting giving a -2J value of 3 cm-1 with the singlet as the ground state. Using complex 1 as a precursor, ternary copper(II) complexes [Cu(R′SSR)B(SO4)] (2-4) are prepared, characterized and their DNA binding and cleavage properties studied (B: kanamycin A, 2; 2,2′-bipyridinc, 3; 1,10-phenanthroline, 4). IR spectral data suggest a square pyramidal (4 + 1) geometry for the one-electron paramagnetic ternary complexes with the sulfate bound to copper. The complexes are non-conducting in DMF but show conductivity in aqueous medium due to dissociation of the sulfate ligand. They bind to calf thymus DNA in the minor groove giving the relative order: 4 > 2 > 1 - 3 (Kapp = 5.4 × 105 M -1 for 4). The precursor complex 1 does not show any apparent chemical nuclease activity when treated with supercoiled (SC) DNA in the presence of 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA). The kanamycin A and phen adducts as such or generated under in situ reaction conditions using 1 and the ligand display efficient chemical nuclease activity in the presence of MPA, while the bpy species shows poor cleavage activity. The ternary kanamycin A complex presents the first synthetic model for three functional domains of bleomycins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4180-4184
Number of pages5
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 21 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry


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