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A spectroscopic study of the reaction of NAMI, a novel ruthenium(III)anti‐neoplastic complex, with bovine serum albumin

Messori, Luigi, Orioli, Pierluigi, Vullo, Daniela, Alessio, Enzo, Iengo, Elisabetta
European journal of biochemistry 2000 v.267 no.4 pp. 1206-1213
absorption, bovine serum albumin, histidine, hydrolysis, ions, mechanism of action, neoplasm cells, oxidation, ruthenium, sodium, spectroscopy
The reaction of Na[transRuCl4Me2SO(Im)] (NAMI; where Im is imidazole), a novel anti‐neoplastic ruthenium(III) complex, with BSA, was studied in detail by various physico‐chemical techniques. It is shown that NAMI, following chloride hydrolysis, binds bovine serum albumin tightly; spectrophotometric and atomic absorption data point out that up to five ruthenium ions are bound per albumin molecule when BSA is incubated for 24 h with an eightfold excess of NAMI. CD and electronic absorption results show that the various ruthenium centers bound to albumin exhibit well distinct spectroscopic features. The first ruthenium equivalent produces a characteristic positive CD band at 415 nm whereas the following NAMI equivalents produce less specific and less marked spectral effects. At high NAMI/BSA molar ratios a broad negative CD band develops at 590 nm. Evidence is provided that the bound ruthenium centers remain in the oxidation state +3. By analogy with the case of transferrins it is proposed that the BSA‐bound ruthenium ions are ligated to surface histidines of the protein; results from chemical modification experiments with diethylpyrocarbonate seem to favor this view. Spectral patterns similar to those shown by NAMI are observed when BSA is reacted with two strictly related ruthenium(III) complexes Na[transRuCl4(Me2SO)2] and H(Im)[transRuCl4(Im)2] (ICR), implying a similar mechanism of interaction in all cases. It is suggested that the described NAMI‐BSA adducts may form in vivo and may be relevant for the biological properties of this complex; alternatively NAMI/BSA adducts may be tested as specific carriers of the ruthenium complex to cancer cells. Implications of these findings for the mechanism of action of NAMI and of related ruthenium(III) complexes are discussed.