Chemical biology news from across RSC Publishing.
OH to be in a position of power
25 October 2007
French scientists are unravelling the anticancer secrets of ferrocenyl phenols.
Some breast cancer cells have oestrogen receptors and so natural oestrogen can stimulate their growth. A number of effective treatments are available for these hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers; one example being selective oestrogen receptor modulators such as tamoxifen, which can be used to occupy the hormone receptors, thus blocking oestrogen from them. But few effective therapies exist for hormone-independent breast cancers.
Further experiments showed that para-substitution also had an effect on the phenols' electrochemical properties, and suggested that the para-OH substituted phenols oxidise to form quinone methide-type structures. A para-OH would allow greater resonance stabilisation of the radical intermediate on the way to these structures. The researchers propose that oxidative activation to quinone methide species could be 'a key' to the phenols' biological activity.
Link to journal article
The influence of phenolic hydroxy substitution on the electron transfer and anti-cancer properties of compounds based on the 2-ferrocenyl-1-phenyl-but-1-ene motif
Elizabeth Anne Hillard, Pascal Pigeon, Anne Vessières, Christian Amatore and Gérard Jaouen, Dalton Trans., 2007, 5073
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