Date of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Kyoungtae Kim


Chemotherapy is one of the most effective treatment plans for several cancer types. The recurrent side effects derived from chemotherapy agents have warranted the search for novel chemical compounds with better efficacy and minimal side effects. In line with this idea, I investigated effects of a group of newly synthesized metal based chemical compounds called cyanoximates on HeLa human cancer cells. Cyanoximates used were Pt(DECO)2, Pt(MCO)2, and Pd(DECO)2 along with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin as a positive control. I found that the metal cyanoximates reduced cell viability via apoptosis, and that Pt(DECO)2 was most effective among these new cyanomixates. In an attempt to understand the potential mechanism of action of Pt(DECO)2, I performed RNAseq analysis with HeLa cells treated with 0.5 mM Pt(DECO)2. Hundreds of genes in Pt(DECO)2-treated cells were differentially expressed with several upregulated genes known to be involved in cell cycle regulation and apoptosis. The analysis also revealed that cancer growth promoting genes alongside drug transporter genes are downregulated in the presence of Pt(DECO)2. Taken together, these results provide evidence that Pt(DECO)2 can be an alternative agent for cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and further, the transcriptomic analysis offers new insights into the mechanism of action of Pt(DECO)2 against cancer cells.


cancer, chemotherapy, cisplatin, cyanoximates, apoptosis, p53, HeLa cells

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Biology


© Kafayat Aderonke Yusuf

Open Access