- Metallothioneins and their metal binding preferences
- Metallic anticancer complexes and the fight against cancer
- Radiopharmacy: the chemistry of Rhenium and Technetium
- Metallosomes as CO releasing molecules
Cancer is a widespread disease, affecting people from all over around the world. Among others, metallic compounds (such as cisplatin) are used as anticancer drugs. The serendipitous discovery of cisplatin led Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry to the front line of the fight against caner. However, cisplatin and other related Pt compounds show some important drawbacks for the patient (side-effects, high interaction with proteins, etc.). Therefore, research has been recently devoted to the discovery of new and improved Pt drugs/prodrugs, and the use of other metal ions (Cu, Ru, Rh, Ir, etc.) in Chemotherapy.
This research line is focused on the design, synthesis and characterization of metallic compounds with putative anticancer properties, in collaboration with Dr. Pau Bayon. Pt, Ru and Cu are some of the most studied metals due to their interesting properties to be used as anticancer agents. Moreover, targeting and photosensitive ligands, whose behaviour can be modified upon light irradiation, are being explored in order to approach to a specific and controlled therapy (like Photodynamic Therapy). In light of this, benzene derivatives appear as interesting moieties to be studied as well as biofunctionalised scaffolds and dinuclear species. We are also studying their interaction with biomolecules (proteins, DNA, etc.) by the use of different techniques, i.e. UV-vis absorption, circular dichroism, fluorescence, and mass spectrometry (ESI-MS, ICP-MS). Cell-viability assays, DNA cleaving properties, DNA-binding assays, complex-protein interactions, cellular uptake, cellular death, or biodistribution are some of the experiments carried out in our group to assess the potentiality of the studied compounds as anticancer agents.
Important collaborations in this research line with the groups of Dr. Jose Ruiz, Dr. Olga Iranzo, and Dr. Julia Lorenzo are acknowledged.