Glycoconjugated Metallohelices have Improved Nuclear Delivery and Suppress Tumour Growth In Vivo

Peter Scott, Hualong Song, Simon J. Allison, Viktor Brabec, Hannah E. Bridgewater, Jana Kasparkova, Hana Kostrhunova, Vojtech Novohradsky, Roger M. Phillips, Jitka Pracharova, Nicola J. Rogers, Samantha L. Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Monosaccharides are added to the hydrophilic face of a self‐assembled asymmetric Fe(II) metallohelix, using CuAAC chemistry. The sixteen resulting architectures are water‐stable and optically pure, and exhibit improved antiproliferative selectivity against colon cancer cells (HCT116 p53 +/+ ) with respect to the non‐cancerous ARPE‐19 cell line. While the most selective compound is a glucose‐appended enantiomer, its cellular entry is not mainly glucose transporter‐mediated. Glucose conjugation nevertheless increases nuclear delivery ca 2.5‐fold, and a non‐destructive interaction with DNA is indicated. Addition of the glucose units affects the binding orientation of the metallohelix to naked DNA, but does not substantially alter the overall affinity. In a mouse model, the glucose conjugated compound was far better tolerated, and tumour growth delays for the parent compound (2.6 d) were improved to 4.3 d; performance as good as cisplatin but with the advantage of no weight loss in the subjects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Early online date2 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2020

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