New cancer-beating molecules may be a step closer, thanks to collaboration between chemists and biomedical scientists in Australia.
New cancer-beating molecules may be a step closer, thanks to collaboration between chemists and biomedical scientists in Australia. Murray Baker and colleagues from the University of Western Australia are deliberately changing ligand groups on gold complexes so that they can tune their properties for potential use as anti-mitochondrial, anti-tumour agents. By choosing bidentate carbene ligands that are easier to make than the phosphine groups traditionally used in anti-tumour molecules, Baker and his team have been able to make a range of compounds with different luminescent properties (right). The next step is to test the biological behaviour of the luminescent compounds so that more effective molecules can be designed. This is a real challenge, as Baker says, ’we understand the chemical aspects (synthesis) quite well, but the biological aspects, in particular working out the mode of action of the gold complexes, are not well understood and very hard to study’. Hopeful for the future, Baker adds that ’in light of the results of biological testing, we will re-visit the chemical synthesis aspect of the project to make new complexes with improved biological activities’.
The authors wish to point out that this work was a collaboration between the groups of Murray Baker and Sue Berners-Price, and would like the work of Berners-Price to be acknowledged accordingly.
P J Barnard et al, Dalton Trans., 2004, 1038 <MAN>b316804b</MAN>