© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Telomeric DNA represents a novel target for the development of anticancer drugs. By application of a catalytic metallodrug strategy, a copper-acridine-ATCUN complex (CuGGHK-Acr) has been designed that targets G-quadruplex telomeric DNA. Both fluorescence solution assays and gel sequencing demonstrate the CuGGHK-Acr catalyst to selectively bind and cleave the G-quadruplex telomere sequence. The cleavage pathway has been mapped by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) experiments. CuGGHK-Acr promotes significant inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and shortening of telomere length. Both senescence and apoptosis are induced in the breast cancer cell line MCF7.