Researchers from chemical program Abu Dhabi at New York University (NYUAD) have developed and studied the bioactivity of five new nodal organic hybrid molecules called metal-organic trefoils (M-TK). These molecules can effectively deliver metal to the cancer cells, demonstrating the ability to act as a new category of anticancer agents.
In a study published in the journal Chemical Science, scientists and Farah Benettu Tirumurugan Prakas report that these water soluble molecules M-TK showed high efficacy against six cancer cell lines zebrafish embryos.
M-TK, generated by reacting a simple pair of ligands is well tolerated and non-cancerous cells were significantly more effective than cisplatin, usual chemotherapeutic drug. In cultured cells M-TK damaged mitochondria of cancer cells.
"Cytotoxicity and opportunities for structural changes M-TK indicate the potential of synthetic organometallic molecules in the pharmaceutical field - explain the researchers -. There is a significant way to the development of new cancer therapies that can complement existing options of chemotherapy, is currently used to treat nearly half of all cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. "
It was found that the M-TK, synthesized by researchers, in many cases, have greater activity than cisplatin and other metal complexes. The main delivery methods were macropinocytosis and endocytosis, which are more active in cancer cells than in normal cells. Cisplatin and other small molecules penetrate into cells by diffusion. The researchers suggest that the molecule they have developed less toxic to healthy cells as they are less digestible.
In the next stage, M-TK development research efforts will focus on the mechanism of action of M-TK, to determine whether the toxicity specific intracellular targets. The results confirm the efficacy of these compounds in vertebrates as M-TK well tolerated zebrafish.