Background: Previous studies suggest that certain transition metal complexes, such as cisplatin, are efficacious for treating various cancer types, including ovarian, lung, and breast. Methods: In order to further evaluate ruthenium (Ru) complexes as potential anti-cancer agents, we synthesized and evaluated Ru-arene complexes. Two complexes with the general formula [Ru (n 6-p-cym) (N-N) Cl]+ were tested for their abilities to inhibit cancer cells. Results: The complex with o-phenylenediamine as the N-N ligand (o-PDA) significantly inhibited growth of breast (MDA-MB-231, MCF-7, SKBR-3, and SUM149), lymphoma (Raji), melanoma (Bowes), and osteosarcoma (HT1080); however, the complex with o-benzoquinonediimine (o-BQDI) was ineffective except for SUM149. In contrast, o-PDA failed to inhibit growth of human breast epithelial cells, MCF-10A. Treatment of MDA-MBA-231 cells with o-PDA resulted in a significant reduction of productions of PDGF-AA, GM-CSF, and VEGF-A proteins at the transcriptional levels. Finally, we demonstrated that o-PDA synergistically inhibited MDA-MB-231 cell growth with cyclophosphamide but not doxorubicin or paclitaxel. Conclusion: These results suggest that Ru-arene complexes are promising anti-cancer drugs that inhibit progression and metastasis by blocking multiple processes for breast and other types of cancer.
- Anti-cancer reagents
- Breast cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)