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Thioamido Coordination in a Thioxo-1,2,4-triazole Copper(II) Complex Enhances Nonapoptotic Programmed Cell Death Associated with Copper Accumulation and Oxidative Stress in Human Cancer Cells

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posted on 2007-04-19, 00:00 authored by Saverio Tardito, Ovidio Bussolati, Monica Maffini, Matteo Tegoni, Marco Giannetto, Valeria Dall'Asta, Renata Franchi-Gazzola, Maurizio Lanfranchi, Maria Angela Pellinghelli, Claudio Mucchino, Giovanni Mori, Luciano Marchiò
The thioamido function of [CuCl2(1H)]Cl (2) (1 = 4-amino-1,4-dihydro-3-(2-pyridyl)-5-thioxo-1,2,4-triazole), a cytotoxic copper complex, was converted into thioether moieties, leading to the synthesis of [CuCl2(3)]2 (4) and [CuCl2(5)] (6) (3 = 6-methyl-3-pyridin-2-yl-7H-[1,2,4]triazolo[3,4-b][1,3,4]thiadiazine; 5 = 4-amino-5-ethylthio-3-(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazole). These complexes were structurally characterized, and their stability constants, along with their biological activity, were determined. 4 and 6 were slightly less stable and significantly less active than 2. However, as 2, both complexes induced nonapoptotic vacuolar cell death. Copper uptake, investigated in both 2-sensitive and -insensitive cell types, was markedly higher in sensitive cells where it was associated with an increase in oxidized glutathione. These data suggest that the thioamido function enhances the cytotoxicity of copper complexes in cancer cells promoting the accumulation of the metal and its interaction with cell thiols.