Luminescent cyclometalated platinum(II) complex forms emissive intercalating adducts with double-stranded DNA and RNA: Differential emissions and anticancer activities

Taotao Zou, Jia Liu, Ching Tung Lum, Chensheng Ma, Ruth Chau Ting Chan, Chun Nam Lok, Wai Ming Kwok, Chi Ming Che

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


KGaA, Weinheim. Luminescent metallo-intercalators are potent biosensors of nucleic acid structure and anticancer agents targeting DNAs. There are few examples of luminescent metallo-intercalators which can simultaneously act as emission probes of nucleic acid structure and display promising anticancer activities. Herein, we describe a luminescent platinum(II) complex, [Pt(ɤNN)(C≡NtBu)]ClO4(1 a, HɤNN= 6-phenyl-2,2′-bipyridyl), that intercalates between the nucleobases of nucleic acids, accompanied by an increase in emission intensity and/or a significant change in the maximum emission wavelength. The changes in emission properties measured with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) are different from those with dsDNA used in the binding reactions. Complex 1 a exhibited potent anticancer activity towards cancer cells in vitro and inhibited tumor growth in a mouse model. The stabilization of the topoisomerase I-DNA complex with resulting DNA damage by 1 a is suggested to contribute to its anticancer activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10120-10123
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014


  • anticancer
  • DNA
  • exciplex emission
  • platinum
  • topoisomerase I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this