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Copper Complexes As Anticancer Agents Targeting Topoisomerases I And II

Caroline Molinaro, Alain Martoriati, Lydie Pelinski, Katia Cailliau

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Organometallics, such as copper compounds, are cancer chemotherapeutics used alone or in combination with other drugs. One small group of copper complexes exerts an effective inhibitory action on topoisomerases, which participate in the regulation of DNA topology. Copper complexes inhibitors of topoisomerases 1 and 2 work by different molecular mechanisms, analyzed herein. They allow genesis of DNA breaks after the formation of a ternary complex, or act in a catalytic mode, often display DNA intercalative properties and ROS production, and sometimes display dual effects. These amplified actions have repercussions on the cell cycle checkpoints and death effectors. Copper complexes of topoisomerase inhibitors are analyzed in a broader synthetic view and in the context of cancer cell mutations. Finally, new emerging treatment aspects are depicted to encourage the expansion of this family of highly active anticancer drugs and to expend their use in clinical trials and future cancer therapy.