A series of three platinum(II) phenanthroimidazoles each containing a protonable side-chain appended from the phenyl moiety through copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) were evaluated for their capacities to bind to human telomere, c-Myc, and c-Kit derived G-quadruplexes. The side-chain has been optimized to enable a multivalent binding mode to G-quadruplex motifs, which would potentially result in selective targeting. Molecular modeling, high-throughput fluorescence intercalator displacement (HT-FID) assays, and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) studies demonstrate that complex 2 exhibits significantly slower dissociation rates compared to platinum phenanthroimidazoles without side-chains and other reported G-quadruplex binders. Complex 2 showed little cytotoxicity in HeLa and A172 cancer cell lines, consistent with the fact that it does not follow a telomere-targeting pathway. Preliminary mRNA analysis shows that 2 specifically interacts with the ckit promoter region. Overall, this study validates 2 as a useful molecular probe for c-Kit related cancer pathways.
Keywords: G-quadruplexes; cancer therapeutic; click chemistry; drug design; platinum(II).
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