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Review

Emerging Molecular Receptors for the Specific-Target Delivery of Ruthenium and Gold Complexes into Cancer Cells

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Centro de Química Estrutural and Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
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Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares and Departamento de Engenharia e Ciências Nucleares, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada Nacional 10 (km 139, 7), 2695-066 Bobadela LRS, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Paula Marques
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3153; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113153
Received: 6 May 2021 / Revised: 21 May 2021 / Accepted: 24 May 2021 / Published: 25 May 2021
Cisplatin and derivatives are highly effective in the treatment of a wide range of cancer types; however, these metallodrugs display low selectivity, leading to severe side effects. Additionally, their administration often results in the development of chemoresistance, which ultimately results in therapeutic failure. This scenario triggered the study of other transition metals with innovative pharmacological profiles as alternatives to platinum, ruthenium- (e.g., KP1339 and NAMI-A) and gold-based (e.g., Auranofin) complexes being among the most advanced in terms of clinical evaluation. Concerning the importance of improving the in vivo selectivity of metal complexes and the current relevance of ruthenium and gold metals, this review article aims to survey the main research efforts made in the past few years toward the design and biological evaluation of target-specific ruthenium and gold complexes. Herein, we give an overview of the inorganic and organometallic molecules conjugated to different biomolecules for targeting membrane proteins, namely cell adhesion molecules, G-protein coupled receptors, and growth factor receptors. Complexes that recognize the progesterone receptors or other targets involved in metabolic pathways such as glucose transporters are discussed as well. Finally, we describe some complexes aimed at recognizing cell organelles or compartments, mitochondria being the most explored. The few complexes addressing targeted gene therapy are also presented and discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: ruthenium; gold; targeted drug delivery; cancer; therapeutic targeting agents; precision medicine ruthenium; gold; targeted drug delivery; cancer; therapeutic targeting agents; precision medicine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Machado, J.F.; Correia, J.D.G.; Morais, T.S. Emerging Molecular Receptors for the Specific-Target Delivery of Ruthenium and Gold Complexes into Cancer Cells. Molecules 2021, 26, 3153. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113153

AMA Style

Machado JF, Correia JDG, Morais TS. Emerging Molecular Receptors for the Specific-Target Delivery of Ruthenium and Gold Complexes into Cancer Cells. Molecules. 2021; 26(11):3153. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113153

Chicago/Turabian Style

Machado, João F., João D.G. Correia, and Tânia S. Morais 2021. "Emerging Molecular Receptors for the Specific-Target Delivery of Ruthenium and Gold Complexes into Cancer Cells" Molecules 26, no. 11: 3153. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113153

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