The breast cancer stem cell (CSC) potency of a series of copper(II)-phenanthroline complexes containing the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), indomethacin, is reported. The most effective copper(II) complex in this series, 4 selectivity kills breast CSC-enriched HMLER-shEcad cells over breast CSC-depleted HMLER cells. Furthermore, 4 reduces the formation, size, and viability of mammospheres, to a greater extent than salinomycin, a potassium ionophore known to selectively inhibit CSCs. Mechanistic studies revealed that the CSC-specificity observed for 4 arises from its ability to generate intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme that is overexpressed in breast CSCs. The former induces DNA damage, activates JNK and p38 pathways, and leads to apoptosis.
|Journal||ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE INTERNATIONAL EDITION IN ENGLISH|
|Early online date||25 Jan 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Feb 2018|