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Organometallic Complexes: New Tools for Chemotherapy

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Abstract:

The importance of organometallics can be noticed by their presence in all life organisms. The most known natural organometallic molecule is vitamin B12, a porphyrin containing a cobalt atom, useful for several enzymatic transformations. Based on the remarkable properties of this class of compounds, a new area of medicinal research was developed. Gerard Jaouen was the first to introduce the term of “bioorganometallic chemistry” in 1985 although the first organometallic therapeutical was SalvarsanĀ®, discovered by Paul Ehrlich (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908). Bioorganometallic chemistry consists of the synthesis and the study of organometallic complexes, complexes with at least one metal-carbon bond, in a biological and medicinal interest. This field of research was accentuated by the discovery of the ferrocene in 1951 by Pauson and Kealy, confirmed in 1952 by Wilkinson (Nobel Prize in 1973). Today, bioorganometallic chemistry includes 5 main domains: (1) organometallic therapeuticals, (2) toxicology and environment, (3) molecular recognition in aqueous phases, (4) enzymes, proteins and peptides, (5) bioanalysis and pharmaceutical sensors. In this review, we focused on organometallic therapeuticals. The exceptional properties of organometallics are first described and then, an overview on the main organometallic complexes used for drug design is presented. This review gives an idea how organometallics can be used for the rational design of new drugs.

Keywords: Bioorganometallic chemistry; chemotherapy; metallocenes; organometallic complexes

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2174/092986710791859306

Affiliations: Catholic University Leuven, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Rega Institute, Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry, Minderbroedersstraat 10, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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