Helicates and related metallofoldamers, synthesised by dynamic self-assembly, represent an area of chemical space inaccessible by traditional organic synthesis, and yet with potential for discovery of new classes of drug. Here we report that water-soluble, optically pure Fe(ii)- A nd even Zn(ii)-based triplex metallohelices are an excellent platform for post-assembly click reactions. By these means, the in vitro anticancer activity and most importantly the selectivity of a triplex metallohelix Fe(ii) system are dramatically improved. For one compound, a remarkable array of mechanistic and pharmacological behaviours is discovered: Inhibition of Na +/K + ATPase with potency comparable to the drug ouabain, antimetastatic properties (including inhibition of cell migration, re-adhesion and invasion), cancer stem cell targeting, and finally colonosphere inhibition competitive with the drug salinomycin.
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- Department of Pharmacy - Associate Dean of Research Innovation and Knowledge Exchange
- School of Applied Sciences
- Pharmacology and Therapeutics Centre - Director
- Centre for Biomarker Research - Associate Member
- Technical Textiles Research Centre - Associate Membership
- Cellular and Molecular Models of Disease Centre - Associate Membership