Synthesis, characterization, and reactivity of the stable iron carbonyl complex [Fe(CO)(N4Py)](ClO4)2: photoactivated carbon monoxide release, growth inhibitory activity, and peptide ligation

Inorg Chem. 2011 Jun 20;50(12):5336-8. doi: 10.1021/ic200676s. Epub 2011 May 27.


Photoactivated carbon monoxide (CO) release by the iron carbonyl complex [Fe(II)(CO)(N4Py)](ClO(4))(2) (1) is described. Compound 1 is a low-spin ferrous complex that is highly stable and soluble in aerobic aqueous solutions. CO release was studied by the substitution of MeCN for CO, which displays saturation kinetics, and by the transfer of CO to deoxymyoglobin, which is slow in the dark but fast upon irradiation with UV light (365 nm). Compound 1 is active against PC-3 prostate cancer cells and shows potent photoinduced cytotoxicity. In addition, the iron carbonyl complex was attached to a short peptide toward the goal of tissue or cell-specific delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Carbon Monoxide / chemistry*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Ferrous Compounds / chemical synthesis
  • Ferrous Compounds / chemistry
  • Ferrous Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Photochemistry
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ferrous Compounds
  • Peptides
  • Carbon Monoxide