Tuning the Photophysical and Biological Properties of a Series of Ruthenium-Based Chromophores and Chromophore Coupled Cisplatin Analogs with Substituted Terpyridine Ligands

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Virginia Tech

The goal of this research was to develop an understanding of the impact of component modifications on spectroscopic properties, DNA interaction, and bioactivity of tridentate, terpyridine containing ruthenium-based chromophores and chromophore coupled cisplatin analogs. The coupling of a light absorbing unit to a bioactive site offers the potential for developing supramolecules with multifunctional interactions with DNA and other biomolecules. A series of supramolecular complexes of the form (TL)RuCl(dpp) and (TL)RuCl(BL)PtCl₂ with the BL (bridging ligand) = 2,3-bis(2-pyridyl)pyrazine (dpp) and varying TL (terminal ligand) (tpy = 2,2'':6'',2''-terpyridine, MePhtpy = 4''-(4-methylphenyl)- 2,2'':6'',2''- terpyridine, or tBu3tpy = 4,4'',4''-tri-tert-butyl-2,2'':6'',2''-terpyridine) have been designed and developed. The investigations described in this thesis were focused on the design and development of multifunctional supramolecules with improved DNA interaction and antibacterial properties. The impact of component modifications on photophysical and biological properties of the designed the supramolecular complexes was investigated.

A series of supramolecular complexes of the type, (TL)RuCl(dpp) and (TL)RuCl(dpp)PtCl₂, have been synthesized using a building block approach. Electronic absorption spectroscopy of these types of complexes displayed intense ligand-based transitions in the UV region and metal to ligand charge transfer (MLCT) transitions in the visible region. The Ru to dpp MLCT transitions in RuIIPtII bimetallic complexes were found to be red-shifted relative to the monometallic synthons. The MLCT transitions for (TL)RuCl(dpp) and (TL)RuCl(dpp)PtCl₂ were centered at ca. 520 and 545 nm, in CH₃CN respectively. The RuIIPtII bimetallic complexes with (TL = tpy, MePhtpy, and tBu3tpy) displayed reversible RuII/III couples at 1.10, 1.10, and 1.01 V vs. Ag/AgCl, respectively. The tpy0/- reductions occurred for TL = tpy, MePhtpy, and tBu3tpy at -1.43, -1.44, and -1.59 V vs. Ag/AgCl, respectively. The RuIIPtII complexes displayed a more positive potential for the dpp0/- couples (-0.50 -0.55, -0.59 V for tpy, MePhtpy, and tBu3tpy, repectively) relative to their monometallic synthons (-1.15, -1.16, and -1.22 V), consistent with the coordination of electron deficient Pt(II) metal center.

This research also presents first extensive DNA photocleavage studies of these relatively unexplored tridentate, tpy-containing chromophores. The DNA binding and photocleavage properties of a series of homoleptic and heteroleptic chromophores and RuIIPtII bimetallic complexes were investigated using agarose gel electrophoresis and equilibrium dialysis experiments. The heteroleptic complexes, (MePhtpy)RuCl(dpp), (tpy)RuCl(dpp), and (tBu3tpy)RuCl(dpp), were found to photocleave DNA more efficiently than homoleptic complexes, [Ru(MePhtpy)2]2+, [Ru(tpy)2]2+, and [Ru(tBu₃tpy)2]2+, in the presence of oxygen. Coupling of [(TL)RuCl(BL)] subunit to a cis-PtIICl2 site provides for the application of typically shorter lived RuII(tpy) based chromophores in DNA photocleavage. The [(TL)RuCl(dpp)PtCl₂]+, complexes displayed covalent binding to DNA and photocleavage upon irradiation with visible light modulated by TL identity.

The impact of component modifications on antibacterial properties of the designed molecules was explored for the first time. Both the RuIIPtII bimetallic complexes and their monometallic analogs displayed antibacterial properties. (MePhtpy)RuCl(dpp) was found to be the most efficient antibacterial agent in the series of monometallic and RuIIPtII bimetallic complexes, displaying cell growth inhibition at 0.05 mM concentration compared to 0.1 mM concentration of (MePhtpy)RuCl(dpp)PtCl₂ needed to display the similar effect. A direct correlation was found to exist between the DNA interaction and bactericidal properties of the designed supramolecules. The effects of light on antibacterial properties of (MePhtpy)RuCl(dpp) were also briefly examined. This complex represents the first inorganic chromophore-based photodynamic antibacterial agent.

photodynamic therapy, supramolecular, bridging ligand, chromophore, DNA photocleavage, cisplatin, antibacterial