Ruthenium(II) complexes containing a pendant methanol amidogen induce apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells through a ROS-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction pathway

  • Xian-Lan HongEmail author
  • Juan Xu
  • Rong-Hui Jiang
  • Jie-Ying Li
  • Jie-Li Chen
  • Fu-Changsheng Lu


A phenanthrene derivative with a pendant methanol amidogen TFCPIP and its two ruthenium(II) complexes [Ru(phen)2(TFCPIP)](ClO4)2 (1) and [Ru(dmp)2(TFCPIP)](ClO4)2 (2) (phen = 1,10-phenanthroline, dmp = 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline, TFCPIP = 2-(2,3,5,6-tetrafluoro-4-aminoethanolphenyl)[4,5-f]-imidazo[1,10]phenanthroline) were synthesized, and the anticancer properties of the two complexes were examined. Both the complexes displayed certain anticancer activities against the selected SGC-7901, BEL-7402, HeLa, A549, MG-63, HepG2, PC-12 and SiHa cancer cells, with the highest cytotoxic activities against SGC-7901. The cell biology experiments for exploring toxicity mechanism with fluorescence imaging technique and flow cytometry demonstrated that the complexes can trigger apoptosis of SGC-7901 cells with an increase in ROS level, a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, and effectively inhibit cell invasion and cell growth at G2/M phase, implicating that the complexes induce cellular apoptosis through a ROS-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction pathway.



This work was supported by the Natural Science foundation of Guangdong Province (Nos2014A030307015), Special Cultivation Funds for Guangdong College Students’ Scientific and Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship Training Project and Shaoguan university.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryShaoguan UniversityShaoguanPeople’s Republic of China

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