Structure of the complex of a human telomeric DNA with bis(1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazole-2-ylidene) gold(I)

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 2.00 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.253 
  • R-Value Work: 0.228 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.231 

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Interaction of a gold(i) dicarbene anticancer drug with human telomeric DNA G-quadruplex: solution and computationally aided X-ray diffraction analysis.

Guarra, F.Marzo, T.Ferraroni, M.Papi, F.Bazzicalupi, C.Gratteri, P.Pescitelli, G.Messori, L.Biver, T.Gabbiani, C.

(2018) Dalton Trans 47: 16132-16138

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/c8dt03607a
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    The bis carbene gold(i) complex [Au(1-butyl-3-methyl-2-ylidene)2]PF6, ([Au(NHC)2]PF6 hereafter), holds remarkable interest as a perspective anticancer agent. The compound is stable under physiological like conditions: its original structure is retained even in the presence of excess glutathione (GSH). Previous studies revealed its high cytotoxicity in vitro that correlates with the impairment of crucial metabolic and enzymatic cellular processes (Magherini et al., Oncotarget, 2018, 9, 28042). Here, the interaction of [Au(NHC)2]PF6 with the human telomeric DNA G-quadruplex Tel23 has been investigated in solution by means of high resolution mass spectrometry. ESI MS experiments well document the formation of stable 1 : 1 adducts between the biscarbene gold complex - in its intact form - and the DNA G-quadruplex Tel23. Next, through independent biophysical methods, we show that [Au(NHC)2]PF6 binding does not significantly affect the G quadruplex melting temperature nor its conformation. The crystal structure for the [Au(NHC)2]+/Tel24 adduct was eventually determined by a joint X-ray diffraction and in silico simulation approach. Through the careful integration of solution and solid-state data, a quite clear picture emerges for the interaction of this gold complex with the Tel23 G-quadruplex.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa, Via G. Moruzzi 13, 56124 Pisa, Italy. chiara.gabbiani@unipi.it.


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Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains LengthOrganismImage
Human Telomeric DNA24Homo sapiens
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 2.00 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.253 
  • R-Value Work: 0.228 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.231 
  • Space Group: C 1 2 1
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 36.6α = 90
b = 71.37β = 92.42
c = 27.05γ = 90
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
XDSdata reduction
XDSdata scaling
PDB_EXTRACTdata extraction

Structure Validation

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Ligand Structure Quality Assessment 

Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2019-01-30
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2024-01-17
    Changes: Advisory, Data collection, Database references, Derived calculations, Refinement description