Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 29
Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, have synthesized a novel inorganic-organic hybrid compound that can inhibit breast, lung, and liver cancer cells, opening up new possibilities for metallodrugs. These are drugs that contain a metal as an active ingredient and are most commonly used as anti-cancer or anti-microbial agents.
A solid compound based on phosphomolybdate cluster, an inorganic salt belonging to the Polyoxometalates (POM) family, had been earlier identified to have anti-tumor potential. A team of INST scientists led by Dr Monika Singh and Dr Deepika Sharma has chalked out a mechanism by which the compound kills cancer cells.
POMs are an evolving class of inorganic metal oxides which over the last decade have established promising biological activities by the virtue of their great diversity in structures and properties.
In order to probe into the mechanism of how the cancer cells are attacked by the compound, the team synthesised it by hydro-thermal method. An aqueous mixture of sodium molybdate, phosphorus acid, and bipyridine was heated in an acetate buffer solution of pH 4 at 160 degrees Celsius for 72 hours.
The compound’s cytotoxicity, or the quality of being toxic to cells, was determined on breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer cells by conventional colorometry. The observations were further compared with that of a routinely used chemotherapeutic agent.
The mechanism of cell death occurring in breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer cells were also evaluated and the effect of the synthesized materials on the cell division was determined.
The in vitro results showed that this hybrid solid is less toxic towards normal cells and its anti-tumor activity was also found to be comparable with that of a routinely used chemo-therapeutic agent.
POMs have evolved as a promising candidate for future metallodrugs for combating cancer. The compound synthesised by the INST, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, could open new avenues for anti-tumor applications.
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