Insight into the photoinduced ligand exchange reaction pathway of cis-[Rh2(-O2CCH3)2(CH3CN)6]2+ with a DNA model chelate. Academic Article uri icon


  • We previously showed that [Rh(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(2)(CH(3)CN)(6)](2+) binds to dsDNA only upon irradiation with visible light and that photolysis results in a 34-fold enhancement of its cytotoxicity toward Hs-27 human skin fibroblasts, making it potentially useful for photodynamic therapy (PDT). With the goal of gaining further insight on the photoinduced binding of DNA to the complex, we investigated by NMR spectroscopy the mechanism by which 2,2'-bipyridine (bpy), a model for biologically relevant bidentate nitrogen donor ligands, binds to [Rh(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(2)(CH(3)CN)(6)](2+) upon irradiation in D(2)O. The photochemical results are compared to the reactivity in the dark in D(2)O and CD(3)CN. The photolysis of [Rh(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(2)(CH(3)CN)(6)](2+) with equimolar bpy solutions in D(2)O with visible light affords [Rh(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(2)(eq/eq-bpy)(CH(3)CN)(2)(D(2)O(ax))(2)](2+) (eq/eq) with the reaction reaching completion in ~8 h. Only vestiges of eq/eq are observed at the same time in the dark, however, and the reaction is ~20 times slower. Conversely, the dark reaction of [Rh(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(2)(CH(3)CN)(6)](2+) with an equimolar amount of bpy in CD(3)CN affords [Rh(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(2)((1)-bpy(ax))(CH(3)CN)(5)](2+) ((1)-bpy(ax)), which remains present even after 5 days of reaction. The photolysis results in D(2)O are consistent with the exchange of one equiv CH(3)CNeq for solvent, and the resulting species quickly reacting with bpy to generate eq/eq; the initial eq ligand dissociation is assisted by absorption of a photon, thus greatly enhancing the reaction rate. The photolytic reaction of [Rh(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(2)(CH(3)CN)(6)](2+):bpy in a 1:2 ratio in D(2)O affords the eq/eq and (eq/eq)(2) adducts. The observed differences in the reactivity in D(2)O vs CD(3)CN are explained by the relative ease of substitution of eq D(2)O vs CD(3)CN by the incoming bpy molecule. These results clearly highlight the importance of dissociation of an eq CH(3)CN molecule from the dirhodium core to attain high reactivity and underscore the importance of light for the reactivity of these compounds, which is essential for PDT agents.

published proceedings

  • Inorg Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Chifotides, H. T., Lutterman, D. A., Dunbar, K. R., & Turro, C.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Chifotides, Helen T||Lutterman, Daniel A||Dunbar, Kim R||Turro, Claudia

publication date

  • December 2011