The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701). This special issue belongs to the section "Biobased and Biodegradable Metals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 19073

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT), Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2. CCMAR, Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Interests: metals in molecular sciences; decavanadate biochemistry; polyoxometalate (POM) interactions with proteins; metals and biomedical applications
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Guest Editor
University of Vienna, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Austria
Interests: organic–inorganic hybrid polyoxometalate-based materials and their biological application; solution chemistry of isopoly- and heteropolytungstates

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Guest Editor
University of Vienna, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Austria
Interests: biochemical characterization; crystallization and structure determination of metalloenzymes with a focus on polyphenol oxidases from different sources; synthesis and characterization of biologically active polyoxometalates (POMs); application of POMs as powerful additives in protein crystallization; cyanobacterial metabolism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

About 25–30 elements are considered to have been essential for the normal functioning of biological systems since the origin of life, and among them, 10 are metallic elements, the so-called “inorganic elements”. Metals such as Na, K, Mg, Ca, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn and Mo are elements essential for life, and our body must have adequate amounts of them, while others are considered possibly essential, such as V and Cr, even if they are present in vestigial amounts. Contaminant metals and semi-metals such as Pb, Hg, Cd, As and Al are known to be detrimental for living systems. Other non-essential metals, Au, Ag, Pt and Ru, are known to have several biological applications in the treatment of human diseases and are considered new drugs of the future. The past decades have marked important advances in our knowledge of mechanistic bioinorganic chemistry and witnessed a steady change in the traditional view of the many roles that metals and their complexes play in biological systems. In fact, metals and inorganic compounds show a diversity of properties that have allowed them to present several and distinct biological and medical applications.

This Special Issue will provide recent insights into the applications of metals and their complexes in biology and biomedicine. A wide range of topics is welcomed, including the use of metals and their complexes for biomolecule detection, bioremediation, bioaccumulation; as sensors, probes and enzyme inhibitors; metals for health applications; for the prevention, therapy and diagnosis of diabetes and neurological diseases; and as antiviral, antimicrobial and anticancer agents and additives in macromolecular crystallography. For this Special Issue, we are looking forward to receiving regular research papers, reviews and short communications.

Prof. Dr. Manuel Aureliano
Dr. Nadiia I. Gumerova
Prof. Dr. Annette Rompel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Metals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biological applications of metals and metal complexes
  • Stability and speciation of metals and their complexes in biological media
  • Interactions of metals with biomacromolecules
  • Antiviral, antibacterial, antidiabetic and anticancer activity
  • Biologically active polyoxometalates (POMs)

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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6 pages, 533 KiB  
Editorial
The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes
by Manuel Aureliano, Nadiia I. Gumerova and Annette Rompel
Metals 2023, 13(6), 1041; https://doi.org/10.3390/met13061041 - 30 May 2023
Viewed by 1249
Abstract
Over the course of biological evolution, approximately 25 to 30 elements have been recognized as essential for the proper functioning of biological systems since the emergence of life [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes)
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Research

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14 pages, 3898 KiB  
Article
Decorative Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by ZnO: Synthesis, Characterization, and Potent Anti-Toxoplasmosis Activity
by Jehan Y. Al-Humaidi, Mohamed Hagar, Basant A. Bakr, Bassma H. Elwakil, Esraa Abdelhamid Moneer and Mostafa El-Khatib
Metals 2022, 12(8), 1246; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12081246 - 25 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Toxoplasmosis may become a fatal disease in immunodeficient, diabetic patients, pregnant women, and infants. Hence, the diligent search for new effective treatment is among the major concerns worldwide. The well-dispersed multi-walled carbon nanotubes lined with ZnO (ZnO-MWCNT), graphene oxide (GO-NPs), and zinc oxide [...] Read more.
Toxoplasmosis may become a fatal disease in immunodeficient, diabetic patients, pregnant women, and infants. Hence, the diligent search for new effective treatment is among the major concerns worldwide. The well-dispersed multi-walled carbon nanotubes lined with ZnO (ZnO-MWCNT), graphene oxide (GO-NPs), and zinc oxide (ZnO-NPs) were successfully synthesized through rapid and facile hydrothermal arc discharge technique (HTADT). The antiparasitic effects of ZnO-NPs, GO-NPs, and ZnO-MWCNT were investigated in mice infected with Toxoplasma gondii. The percent of tachyzoites reduction were detected. The observed results demonstrated that ZnO-MWCNT revealed a significant reduction in the parasite count reached 61% in brain tissues, followed by liver (52%), then spleen (45%). The assessments of antiparasitic, inflammatory, and anti-inflammatory cytokines confirmed the superior activity of ZnO-MWCNT as antiparasitic agent, which paves the way for the employment of ZnO-MWCNT as a treatment for the acute RH strain of T. gondii infection in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes)
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18 pages, 5967 KiB  
Article
Silver Nanoparticles: An Instantaneous Solution for Anticancer Activity against Human Liver (HepG2) and Breast (MCF-7) Cancer Cells
by Abdulaziz A. Al-Khedhairy and Rizwan Wahab
Metals 2022, 12(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12010148 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4052
Abstract
Cancer is a cataclysmic disease that affects not only the target organ, but also the whole body. Metal-based nanoparticles (NPs) have recently emerged as a better option for the treatment of this deadly disease. Accordingly, the present work describes a means to control [...] Read more.
Cancer is a cataclysmic disease that affects not only the target organ, but also the whole body. Metal-based nanoparticles (NPs) have recently emerged as a better option for the treatment of this deadly disease. Accordingly, the present work describes a means to control the growth of cancer cells by using colloidal silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) processed via homemade solutions and the characterization of these materials. The AgNPs may become an instantaneous solution for the treatment of these deadly diseases and to minimize or remove these problems. The AgNPs exhibit excellent control of the growth rate of human liver (HepG2) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cells, even at a very low concentrations. The cytotoxic effects of AgNPs on HepG2 and MCF-7 cancer cells were dose dependent (2–200 μg/mL), as evaluated using MTT and NRU assays. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was increased by 136% and 142% in HepG2 and MCF-7 cells treated with AgNPs, respectively. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) data for both cell types (HepG2 and MCF-7) after exposure to AgNPs showed up- and downregulation of the expression of apoptotic (p53, Bax, caspase-3) and anti-apoptotic (BCl2) genes; moreover, their roles were described. This work shows that NPs were successfully prepared and controlled the growth of both types of cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes)
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14 pages, 1824 KiB  
Article
Gold Compounds Inhibit the Ca2+-ATPase Activity of Brain PMCA and Human Neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y Cells and Decrease Cell Viability
by Maria Berrocal, Juan J. Cordoba-Granados, Sónia A. C. Carabineiro, Carlos Gutierrez-Merino, Manuel Aureliano and Ana M. Mata
Metals 2021, 11(12), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/met11121934 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
Plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCA) are key proteins in the maintenance of calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis. Dysregulation of PMCA function is associated with several human pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases, and, therefore, these proteins are potential drug targets to counteract those diseases. Gold [...] Read more.
Plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCA) are key proteins in the maintenance of calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis. Dysregulation of PMCA function is associated with several human pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases, and, therefore, these proteins are potential drug targets to counteract those diseases. Gold compounds, namely of Au(I), are well-known for their therapeutic use in rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases for centuries. Herein, we report the ability of dichloro(2-pyridinecarboxylate)gold(III) (1), chlorotrimethylphosphinegold(I) (2), 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidenegold(I) chloride (3), and chlorotriphenylphosphinegold(I) (4) compounds to interfere with the Ca2+-ATPase activity of pig brain purified PMCA and with membranes from SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell cultures. The Au(III) compound (1) inhibits PMCA activity with the IC50 value of 4.9 µM, while Au(I) compounds (2, 3, and 4) inhibit the protein activity with IC50 values of 2.8, 21, and 0.9 µM, respectively. Regarding the native substrate MgATP, gold compounds 1 and 4 showed a non-competitive type of inhibition, whereas compounds 2 and 3 showed a mixed type of inhibition. All gold complexes showed cytotoxic effects on human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, although compounds 1 and 3 were more cytotoxic than compounds 2 and 4. In summary, this work shows that both Au (I and III) compounds are high-affinity inhibitors of the Ca2+-ATPase activity in purified PMCA fractions and in membranes from SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Additionally, they exert strong cytotoxic effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes)
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13 pages, 3554 KiB  
Article
Kinetic and Interaction Studies of Adenosine-5′-Triphosphate (ATP) Hydrolysis with Polyoxovanadates
by Francisco de Azambuja, Nele Steens and Tatjana N. Parac-Vogt
Metals 2021, 11(11), 1678; https://doi.org/10.3390/met11111678 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1728
Abstract
The reactivity of polyoxovanadates towards adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis at pH 2, 4, 6 and 7 is reported. Detailed kinetic investigation of ATP hydrolysis in the presence of polyoxovanadates was performed through multinuclear nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In general, rate acceleration of up [...] Read more.
The reactivity of polyoxovanadates towards adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis at pH 2, 4, 6 and 7 is reported. Detailed kinetic investigation of ATP hydrolysis in the presence of polyoxovanadates was performed through multinuclear nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In general, rate acceleration of up to five orders of magnitude was observed in the presence of vanadates compared to spontaneous ATP hydrolysis, with the greatest acceleration observed for reactions carried out at pH 2. Interestingly, the effectiveness of vanadates in promoting ATP hydrolysis decreased as the pH of the reaction solution increased; nevertheless, at pH = 7, the rate increase of one order of magnitude in comparison to blank reactions was still observed. Interactions between vanadate species in solution and ATP were investigated by means of 31P and 51V NMR spectroscopy, and this pointed towards the preferential interaction of vanadium with the phosphate groups rather than other regions of the ATP molecule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes)
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23 pages, 5436 KiB  
Article
Ternary Copper Complex of L-Glutamine and Phenanthroline as Counterions of Cyclo-Tetravanadate Anion: Experimental–Theoretical Characterization and Potential Antineoplastic Activity
by Nidia D. Corona-Motolinia, Beatriz Martínez-Valencia, Lisset Noriega, Brenda L. Sánchez-Gaytán, Angel Mendoza, Francisco J. Meléndez-Bustamante, María Eugenia Castro and Enrique González-Vergara
Metals 2021, 11(10), 1541; https://doi.org/10.3390/met11101541 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2387
Abstract
Over the last decade, therapeutic metallodrugs have become substantially effective in the treatment of cancer. Thus, developing new effective anticancer drugs is a significant research area against the continuing increase in cancers worldwide. In the search for heterobimetallic prodrugs containing V/Cu, a new [...] Read more.
Over the last decade, therapeutic metallodrugs have become substantially effective in the treatment of cancer. Thus, developing new effective anticancer drugs is a significant research area against the continuing increase in cancers worldwide. In the search for heterobimetallic prodrugs containing V/Cu, a new cyclo-tetravanadate was synthesized and characterized by UV-visible and FTIR spectroscopies and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. L-Glutamine and 1,10-phenanthroline allow the crystallization of [Cu(L-Gln)(phen)(H2O)]4[V4O12]∙8(H2O) (1), in which the cyclo-tetravanadate acts as a free anion. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were carried out to characterize the frontier molecular orbitals and molecular electrostatic potential. Global reactivity indexes were calculated and analyzed to give insight into the cyclo-tetravanadate anion and complex counterions interactions. Also, using Bader’s theory of atoms in molecules (AIM), non-covalent interactions were analyzed. Docking analysis with the Casiopeina-like complex resulting from the hydrolysis of compound 1 provided insights into these complex potential anticancer activities by interacting with DNA/tRNA via H-bonds and hydrophobic interactions. The release of both components could act together or separately, acting as prodrugs with potential dual antineoplastic activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes)
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Review

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24 pages, 3591 KiB  
Review
Vanadium and Melanoma: A Systematic Review
by Cristina Amante, Ana Luísa De Sousa-Coelho and Manuel Aureliano
Metals 2021, 11(5), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/met11050828 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 3442
Abstract
The application of metals in biological systems has been a rapidly growing branch of science. Vanadium has been investigated and reported as an anticancer agent. Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer, the incidence of which has been increasing annually worldwide. [...] Read more.
The application of metals in biological systems has been a rapidly growing branch of science. Vanadium has been investigated and reported as an anticancer agent. Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer, the incidence of which has been increasing annually worldwide. It is of paramount importance to identify novel pharmacological agents for melanoma treatment. Herein, a systematic review of publications including “Melanoma and Vanadium” was performed. Nine vanadium articles in several melanoma cells lines such as human A375, human CN-mel and murine B16F10, as well as in vivo studies, are described. Vanadium-based compounds with anticancer activity against melanoma include: (1) oxidovanadium(IV); (2) XMenes; (3) vanadium pentoxide, (4) oxidovanadium(IV) pyridinonate compounds; (5) vanadate; (6) polysaccharides vanadium(IV/V) complexes; (7) mixed-metal binuclear ruthenium(II)–vanadium(IV) complexes; (8) pyridoxal-based oxidovanadium(IV) complexes and (9) functionalized nanoparticles of yttrium vanadate doped with europium. Vanadium compounds and/or vanadium materials show potential anticancer activities that may be used as a useful approach to treat melanoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Biological Applications of Metals and Metal Complexes)
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