Antiproliferative Ruthenium Complexes

Student Author(s)

Lyndsy Miller

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Amanda Eckermann


Luke Wisniewski and Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program and Department of Biology

Document Type


Event Date



Due to the severe toxicity of anticancer platinum complexes and acquired drug resistance, research has focused on cymene ruthenium complexes as viable alternatives. Specifically, [(η6-p-cymene)Ru(ethylene-diamine)Cl]PF6 (RAED-C) is cytotoxic against primary tumors while [(η6-p-cymene)Ru(1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphaadamantane)Cl2 (RAPTA-C) is effective against cancer metastasis, but both exhibit low uptake in cells. Our hypothesis is that glucose ligands will improve cellular uptake of cymene ruthenium complexes and therefore cytotoxicity. Reaction of the sodium salt β-D-thioglucose with [cymeneCl2Ru]2 dimer forms either a dinuclear, dithiolate bridged complex or a dinuclear, trithiolate bridged complex depending on reaction conditions. We are working towards building a library of related compounds focused on variations to the cymene backbone and placement of the thioglucose. Collaboration with Luke Wisniewski and Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin has allowed us to determine some of the properties of these compounds in vitro.


This research was supported by the Thomas L. Riechel Endowed Fund for Summer Research in Chemistry.

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