Binuclear VIV/V, MoVI and ZnII - hydroquinonate complexes: Synthesis, stability, oxidative activity and anticancer properties

Maria Loizou, Petri Papaphilippou, Manolis Vlasiou, Maria Spilia, Dimitrios Peschos, Yannis V. Simos, Anastasios D. Keramidas, Chryssoula Drouza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the discovery of the anticancer properties of cis-platin the road for the development of less toxic and more specific metal ion based anticancer drugs has opened. Based on the low toxicity of VIV/V, MoVI and ZnII metal ions, their binuclear hydroquinonate complexes have been synthesized and their biological activity towards their anticancer properties on various cancerous and non-cancerous cell lines has been evaluated. The new complexes of ZnII with the ligands 2,5-bis((bis(pyridin-2-ylmethyl)amino)methyl)benzene-1,4-diol (H2bpymah) and 2,2′-(((2,5-dihydroxy-1,4-phenylene)bis(methylene))bis((carboxymethyl)ammoniumdiyl))diacetate (H6bicah) have been synthesized and characterized by X-ray crystallography in solid state and 1H NMR in aqueous solution. The binuclear nature of the complexes increases their hydrolytic stability in aqueous solutions at pD 7.0, depending on the metal ion. The most hydrolytic stable VV and ZnII hydroquinonate complexes show to activate O2 towards oxidation of mercaptoethanol in aqueous solutions at physiological pHs. Only the strongest oxidant, the VV complex with bicah6−, significantly activates the intracellular radical oxygen species (ROS) generation. Apparently, the mercaptoethanol oxidation experiment vs time can be used as a preliminary experiment for the prediction of the in vitro ROS generation activity of the complexes in aqueous solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111911
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Anticancer
  • Hydroquinone
  • NMR
  • ROS
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc


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