Activating anticancer metallodrugs with blue, green, and red.

Sylvestre Bonnnet
Leiden University

Photo-Activated Chemotherapy (PACT), like PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT), aims at activating anticancer medicines with visible light to circumvent to the tumour site the toxicity of traditional chemotherapy. PACT agents are activated by photocleavage of a metal-ligand bond. While this type of photochemistry typically requires blue light, it is possible to obtain green or red light activation by playing photochemical tricks. In this presentation, several PACT compounds based on ruthenium will be presented that can be activated with blue, green, or red light. In some of them, it is the metal-based fragment that is responsible for the light-induced cytotoxicity, while in other cases it is the ligand that provokes cell death. As metal-ligand bond cleavage reactions do not require the presence of oxygen, PACT may allow for treating hypoxic tumours. We will close the lecture by showing our first results on PACT compounds tested in hypoxic conditions, ie, in cancer cells grown in presence of low dioxygen concentrations.

In 2005 Sylvestre Bonnet obtained a PhD on molecular machines with Jean-Pierre Sauvage at the University of Strasbourg, France, after which he moved to The Netherlands as a postdoctoral fellow, first in the group of Gerard van Koten (Utrecht University), then with Jan Reedijk (Leiden University). After obtaining a Veni grant in 2008 he completed a Tenure Track position at Leiden University (2009-2014) and obtained a Tenure as Associated Professor in 2015. He obtained several grants including a Vidi grant in 2012 and an ERC Starting Grant in 2013. His expertise lies at the crossing point between bioinorganic chemistry, photochemistry, and liposomes. His current research interests are light-activated anticancer metallodrugs, photocatalysis, and coordination chemistry at lipid bilayers.

Dr. Sylvestre Bonnet

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