Cytotoxicity Studies of Cyclometallated Ruthenium(II) Compounds: New Applications for Ruthenium Dyes Academic Article uri icon


  • The antiproliferative activity of four Ru(II) dyes incorporating the cyclometallated ligand phpy- (deprotonated 2-phenylpyridine) have been tested against HeLa cells. All of the compounds exhibit cytotoxic activity similar to that of cisplatin. The most active compound, [Ru(phpy)(bpy)(dppn)] + (4; bpy = 2,2-bipyridine, dppn = benzo[i]dipyrido[3,2-a: 2,3-c]phenazine), is 6 times more active than the platinum drug, and it is able to disrupt the mitochondria membrane potential. In addition, [Ru(phpy)(biq)2]+ (3; biq = 2,2-biqinoline), with strong absorption at 640 nm, exhibits enhanced activity upon irradiation with 633 nm light. These findings demonstrate that coordinatively saturated cyclometallated Ru dyes have the potential to emerge as a new family of organometallic anticancer compounds, both in the dark and upon irradiation with low-energy light. The compound [Ru(phpy)(pap)(NCCH3) 2]+ (5; pap = 2-(phenylazo)pyridine) was also synthesized and structurally characterized as a new precursor for the preparation of tris-heteroleptic dyes. 2014 American Chemical Society.

published proceedings

  • Organometallics

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Pea, B., David, A., Pavani, C., Baptista, M. S., Pellois, J., Turro, C., & Dunbar, K. R.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Peña, Bruno||David, Amanda||Pavani, Christiane||Baptista, Mauricio S||Pellois, Jean-Philippe||Turro, Claudia||Dunbar, Kim R

publication date

  • March 2014