Mechanism of action of ferrocene derivatives on the catalytic activity of topoisomerase IIα and β - Distinct mode of action of two derivatives

A. D.Sai Krishna, Gayatri Panda, Anand K. Kondapi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Topoisomerase II is found to be present in two isoforms α and β, and both the isoforms are regulated in cancerous tissue. Development of isoform-specific topoisomerase II poisons has been of great interest for cancer-specific drug targeting. In the present investigation using quantitative structure-activity analysis of ferrocene derivatives, we show that two derivatives of ferrocene, azalactone ferrocene and thiomorpholide amido methyl ferrocene, can preferentially inhibit topoisomerase IIβ activity. Thiomorpholide amido methyl ferrocene shows higher inhibition of catalytic activity (IC50 = 50 μM) against topoisomerase IIβ compared to azalactone ferrocene (IC50 = 100 μM). The analysis of protein DNA intermediates formed in the presence of these two compounds suggests that azalactone ferrocene readily induces formation of cleavable complex in a dose-dependent manner, in comparison with thiomorpholide amido methyl ferrocene. Both the compounds show significant inhibition of DNA-dependent ATPase activity of enzyme. These results suggest that azalactone ferrocene inhibits DNA passage activity of enzyme leading to the formation of cleavable complex, while thiomorpholide amido methyl ferrocene competes with ATP binding resulting in the inhibition of catalytic activity of enzyme. In summary, thiomorpholide amido methyl ferrocene and azalactone ferrocene show distinctly different mechanisms in inhibition of catalytic activity of topoisomerase IIβ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-216
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2005


  • Anti-cancer
  • Ferrocene
  • Quantitative structure-activity relationship
  • Topo II poisons
  • Topoisomerase IIα
  • Topoisomerase IIβ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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