Next Article in Journal
Assessing Heterogeneity of Osteolytic Lesions in Multiple Myeloma by 1H HR-MAS NMR Metabolomics
Next Article in Special Issue
Antiplatelet Activity of a Newly Synthesized Novel Ruthenium (II): A Potential Role for Akt/JNK Signaling
Previous Article in Journal
Neuroglobin, a Factor Playing for Nerve Cell Survival
Previous Article in Special Issue
Affinity of nat/68Ga-Labelled Curcumin and Curcuminoid Complexes for β-Amyloid Plaques: Towards the Development of New Metal-Curcumin Based Radiotracers
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1818;

Transition Metal Intercalators as Anticancer Agents—Recent Advances

Nanoscale Organisation and Dynamics Group, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, NSW 2560, Australia
School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, NSW 2560, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sotiris Hadjikakou and Nick Hadjiliadis
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 23 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Metal Based Drugs)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4149 KB, uploaded 31 October 2016]   |  


The diverse anticancer utility of cisplatin has stimulated significant interest in the development of additional platinum-based therapies, resulting in several analogues receiving clinical approval worldwide. However, due to structural and mechanistic similarities, the effectiveness of platinum-based therapies is countered by severe side-effects, narrow spectrum of activity and the development of resistance. Nonetheless, metal complexes offer unique characteristics and exceptional versatility, with the ability to alter their pharmacology through facile modifications of geometry and coordination number. This has prompted the search for metal-based complexes with distinctly different structural motifs and non-covalent modes of binding with a primary aim of circumventing current clinical limitations. This review discusses recent advances in platinum and other transition metal-based complexes with mechanisms of action involving intercalation. This mode of DNA binding is distinct from cisplatin and its derivatives. The metals focused on in this review include Pt, Ru and Cu along with examples of Au, Ni, Zn and Fe complexes; these complexes are capable of DNA intercalation and are highly biologically active. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; intercalate; transition metals; DNA; cytotoxicity; DNA binding; platinum cancer; intercalate; transition metals; DNA; cytotoxicity; DNA binding; platinum

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Deo, K.M.; Pages, B.J.; Ang, D.L.; Gordon, C.P.; Aldrich-Wright, J.R. Transition Metal Intercalators as Anticancer Agents—Recent Advances. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1818.

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]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top