Anticancer, biophysical and computational investigations of half-sandwich ruthenium(II) thiosemicarbazone complexes: The effect of arene versus thiacrown face-cap


A series of half-sandwich ruthenium complexes, two containing an arene face-cap and the other a thiacrown ether face-cap were synthesized to investigate the necessity of the arene for anticancer activity in this class of compounds. The complexes are formulated as [(h6-p-cymene)Ru(dmabTSC)Cl]PF6, [(h6-benzene)Ru(dmabTSC)Cl]PF6 (arene complexes), and [([9]aneS3(dmabTSC)Cl]PF6 (dmabTSC = dimethylaminobenzaldehye thiosemicarbazone). It was observed that none of the complexes showed good anticancer activity in vitro against HCT-116 and Caco-2 (colon adenocarcinoma) cells. All three complexes can bind strongly to calf-thymus DNA with binding constants on the order of 105 M-1. In addition they all bind strongly to human serum albumin with binding constants between 105 and 106 M. There appears to be a single binding site on the protein for these complexes. A computational investigation of these complexes and their hydrolysis products was carried out by molecular docking with DNA and topoisomerase II. From this analysis it is noted that the type of face-capping ligand had different effects on the two macromolecules. It is therefore noted that the knowledge gained from this study will be useful in identifying the type of complexes in this class that show useful metallodrug potential.


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Document Type




anticancer, computational, human serum albumin, protein binding, ruthenium, thiosemicarbazone

Publication Date


Journal Title

Interdisciplinary Journal of Chemistry