Potent anticancer activity of pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate-copper complex against cisplatin-resistant neuroblastoma cells

Haiyuan Zhang, Jiu Sheng Wu, Fangyu Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Effective drugs are urgently needed for the treatment of advanced neuroblastoma refractory to conventional chemotherapy. Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) is a copper-binding ligand, which showed cytotoxicity on many human tumor cells after binding with copper ions. In this study, we synthesized a copper-PDTC complex, which was characterized as a Cu(PDTC)2 complex, with elemental analyses (Fourier transform infrared, electrospray ionization mass spectra, and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy). The Cu(PDTC)2 complex suppressed the proliferation of BE(2)C cells, a human neuroblastoma cell line, with an IC50 of 8.0 μmol/l, which was more potent than cisplatin (IC50 of 80 μmol/l). Treatment of BE(2)C cells with the Cu(PDTC)2 complex caused the S-phase arrest of cell cycle progression, cellular apoptosis, and necrosis, and increased the expression of p53 protein. The Cu(PDTC)2 complex holds potential as a new drug for the treatment of refractory neuroblastoma in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008



  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Copper
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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