Solution equilibria of anticancer ruthenium(II)-(η6-p- cymene)-hydroxy(thio)pyr(id)one complexes: Impact of sulfur vs. oxygen donor systems on the speciation and bioactivity

Éva A. Enyedy, Éva Sija, Tamás Jakusch, Christian G. Hartinger, Wolfgang Kandioller, Bernhard K. Keppler, Tamás Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Stoichiometry and stability of antitumor ruthenium(II)-η6-p- cymene complexes of bidentate (O,O) hydroxypyrone and (O,S) hydroxythiopyr(id) one type ligands were determined by pH-potentiometry, 1H NMR spectroscopy and UV-Vis spectrophotometry in aqueous solution and in dependence of chloride ion concentration. Formation of mono-ligand complexes with moderate stability was found in the case of the hydroxypyrone ligands (ethyl maltol and allomaltol) predominating at the physiological pH range. These complexes decompose to the dinuclear tri-hydroxido bridged species [{Ru II6-p-cymene)}2(OH)3] + and to the metal-free ligand at basic pH values. In addition, formation of a hydroxido [RuII6-p-cymene)(L)(OH)] species was found. The hydroxythiopyr(id)one ligands (thiomaltol, thioallomaltol, 3-hydroxy-1,2-dimethyl-thiopyridone) form complexes of significantly higher stability compared with the hydroxypyrones; their complexes are biologically more active, the simultaneous bi- and monodentate coordination of the ligands in the bis complexes (ML2 and ML2H) was also demonstrated. In the case of thiomaltol, formation of tris complexes is also likely at high pH. The replacement of the chlorido by the aqua ligand in the [RuII6-p-cymene)(L)(Cl)] species was monitored, which is an important activation step in the course of the mode of action of the complexes, facilitating binding to biological targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2013


  • Allomaltol
  • Ruthenium antitumor complexes
  • Speciation
  • Stability constants
  • Thiomaltol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Solution equilibria of anticancer ruthenium(II)-(η<sup>6</sup>-p- cymene)-hydroxy(thio)pyr(id)one complexes: Impact of sulfur vs. oxygen donor systems on the speciation and bioactivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this