Discovery of β-carboline copper(II) complexes as Mcl-1 inhibitor and in vitro and in vivo activity in cancer models.


State Key Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources, School of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, 541004, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


Mcl-1 is an anti-apoptotic member of Bcl-2 family proteins. The development of inhibitors of Mcl-1 has been challenging. To develop metal-based Mcl-1inhibitors, twenty two copper(II) complexes 25-46 with 9-substituted β-carboline derivatives were reported. Complexes 38 and 39 showed higher cytotoxicity than the corresponding ligands or cisplatin. The most potent complex 39 presented higher selectivity to Mcl-1 than other Bcl-2 family proteins, and killed cancer cells via Bax/Bak mediated apoptosis. Complex 39 showed an excellent safety profile in mouse model, and significantly inhibited the tumor growth in NCI-H460 tumor bearing model, which is more potent than AZD5991 at the same dosage. Complex 39 prolonged the survival time of the tumor bearing mice. Complex 39 is the first metal-based Mcl-1 inhibitor acting as a potential anticancer agent.


Anticancer,Apoptosis,Copper(II) complex,Mcl-1,β-Carboline,

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