Copper(II), cobalt(II) and nickel(II) complexes of lapachol: synthesis, DNA interaction, and cytotoxicity

<p>Three novel copper(II), cobalt(II), and nickel(II) complexes of lapachol (Lap) containing 110-phenanthroline (phen) ligand, [M(Lap)<sub>2</sub>(phen)] (M=Cu(II), <b>1</b>, Co(II), <b>2</b>, and Ni(II), <b>3</b>), have been synthesized and characterized using, elemental analysis and spectroscopic studies. Their interactions with calf thymus DNA (CT DNA) were investigated using viscosity, thermal denaturation, circular dichorism, fluorescence quenching, and electronic absorption spectroscopy. The DNA cleavage abilities of <b>1</b>–<b>3</b> have been studied, where cleavage activity of copper complex <b>1</b> is more than the complexes <b>2</b> and <b>3</b>. The <i>in vitro</i> cytotoxic potential of the complexes <b>1–3</b> against human cervical carcinoma (HeLa), human liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG-2), and human colorectal adenocarcinoma (HT-29) cells indicated their promising antitumor activity with quite low IC<sub>50</sub> values in the range of .15–2.41 μM, which are lower than those of cisplatin.</p>