Next Article in Journal
Protection against UVB-Induced Wrinkle Formation in SKH-1 Hairless Mice: Efficacy of Tricin Isolated from Enzyme-Treated Zizania latifolia Extract
Next Article in Special Issue
Peroxidative Oxidation of Alkanes and Alcohols under Mild Conditions by Di- and Tetranuclear Copper (II) Complexes of Bis (2-Hydroxybenzylidene) Isophthalohydrazide
Previous Article in Journal
One-pot Fluorination and Organocatalytic Robinson Annulation for Asymmetric Synthesis of Mono- and Difluorinated Cyclohexenones
Previous Article in Special Issue
Synthesis and Cytotoxicity Studies of Novel NHC*-Gold(I) Complexes Derived from Lepidiline A
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessCommunication
Molecules 2018, 23(9), 2253;

Polypyridyl Zinc(II)-Indomethacin Complexes with Potent Anti-Breast Cancer Stem Cell Activity

Department of Chemistry, King’s College London, London SE1 1DB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Complexes of Biological Ligands)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1113 KB, uploaded 4 September 2018]   |  


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are thought of as a clinically pertinent subpopulation of tumors, partly responsible for cancer relapse and metastasis. Research programs aimed at discovering anti-CSC agents have largely focused on biologics and purely organic molecules. Recently, we showed that a family of redox-active copper(II) complexes with phenanthroline-based ligands and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as indomethacin, are capable of potently and selectively killing breast CSCs. Herein we present analogous redox-inactive, zinc(II)-phenanthroline-indomethacin complexes with the ability to kill breast CSCs and bulk breast cancer cells with equal potency (in the submicro- or micromolar range). A single dose of the zinc(II) complexes could theoretically be administered to eliminate whole tumor populations. Excitingly, some of the zinc(II) complexes decrease the growth and viability of mammospheres to a comparable or higher degree than salinomycin, a compound known to effectively kill breast CSCs. As far as we are aware this is the first report to examine the anti-breast CSC activity of zinc(II)-containing compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: metallopharmaceuticals; bioinorganic chemistry; zinc; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug metallopharmaceuticals; bioinorganic chemistry; zinc; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Rundstadler, T.K.; Eskandari, A.; Norman, S.M.; Suntharalingam, K. Polypyridyl Zinc(II)-Indomethacin Complexes with Potent Anti-Breast Cancer Stem Cell Activity. Molecules 2018, 23, 2253.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top