Threading Ruthenium Complexes
Transition metal-based complexes have been successful in cancer treatment. This led to the exploration of Ruthenium based small molecules. Since Ruthenium based complexes have entered clinical trials for cancer therapy, several modifications have been made to make them more effective. One of these modifications is to covalently link two mononuclear ruthenium complexes to form binuclear complexes which were first developed at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The slow kinetics of these molecules made it hard to study in bulk experiments, but by mechanically manipulating the DNA molecule using optical tweezers we explored the threading of these binuclear ruthenium complexes. This project is carried out in collaboration with Williams Lab at Northeastern University and Westerlund Lab at Chalmers University of technology, Sweden. The results of this project are being published in the Journal of American Chemical Society (2008), Nucleic Acids Research (2014) and Biochemistry (2018). Currently we are currently exploring how the chirality of the side chains of these threading intercalators affect the binding of them to the DNA.
Doxorubicin & Nogalamycin
We are also studying the interactions of two popular cancer drugs to characterize their binding properties. Nogalamycin has been used for a long time to treat cancer and was recently discontinued. On the other hand, Doxorubicin is one of the popular drugs in the market. Studying these two at the single molecule level and comparing will provide insights to develop better drug designs in the future.