Research Papers:

Facile total synthesis of lysicamine and the anticancer activities of the RuII, RhIII, MnII and ZnII complexes of lysicamine

Jiao-Lan Qin, Ting Meng, Zhen-Feng Chen, Xiao-Li Xie, Qi-Pin Qin, Xiao-Ju He, Ke-Bin Huang and Hong Liang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:59359-59375. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19584

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Jiao-Lan Qin1,*, Ting Meng1,*, Zhen-Feng Chen1, Xiao-Li Xie1, Qi-Pin Qin1, Xiao-Ju He1, Ke-Bin Huang1 and Hong Liang1

1State Key Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources, School of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, P. R. China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hong Liang, email: [email protected]

Zhen-Feng Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: lysicamine, metal complexes, antitumor activity, apoptosis

Received: May 09, 2017    Accepted: June 19, 2017    Published: July 26, 2017


Lysicamine is a natural oxoaporphine alkaloid, which isolated from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbs and has been shown to possess cytotoxicity to hepatocarcinoma cell lines. Reports on its antitumor activity are scarce because lysicamine occurs in plants at a low content. In this work, we demonstrate a facile concise total synthesis of lysicamine from simple raw materials under mild reaction conditions, and the preparation of the Ru(II), Rh(III), Mn(II) and Zn(II) complexes 14 of lysicamine (LY). All the compounds were fully characterized by elemental analysis, IR, ESI-MS, 1H and 13C NMR, as well as single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. Compared with the free ligand LY, complexes 2 and 3 exhibited superior in vitro cytotoxicity against HepG2 and NCI-H460. Mechanistic studies indicated that 2 and 3 blocked the cell cycle in the S phase by decreasing of cyclins A2/B1/D1/E1, CDK 2/6, and PCNA levels and increasing levels of p21, p27, p53 and CDC25A proteins. In addition, 2 and 3 induced cell apoptosis via both the caspase-dependent mitochondrial pathway and the death receptor pathway. in vivo study showed that 2 inhibited HepG2 tumor growth at 1/3 maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and had a better safety profile than cisplatin.

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