Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Nicholas P. Farrell


Development of Non-Traditional Platinum Anticancer Agents: trans-Platinum Planar Amine Compounds and Polynuclear Platinum Compounds

By Daniel E. Lee, Ph.D.

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015

Major Director: Nicholas P Farrell, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry

Platinum anticancer compounds with cis geometry, similar to cisplatin, have been explored to circumvent the cisplatin resistance; however, they were not considered broadly active in cisplatin cells due to exhibiting similar or same cell death mechanism as cisplatin. Platinum compounds with trans geometry were less studied due to transplatin being clinically inactive; but with few structural modifications, they resulted in unaffected cytotoxic activities in cisplatin resistant cells with structural modification by exhibiting different modes of DNA binding. This research focused on further exploring and establishing structure-activity relationship of two promising non-classical series of platinum compounds with trans-geometry: trans-platinum planar amine (TPA) compounds and noncovalently binding polynuclear platinum compounds (PPC-NC).

During this research, further optimizations of the reactivity of TPA compounds were accomplished by modifying the leaving carboxylate groups. The effects of modified reactivity were probed by a systematic combination of chemical and biophysical assays, followed by evaluating their biological effects in cells. To establish the structural-activity relationship of PPC-NCs, Mono-, Di-, Tri-, and Tetraplatin NC with charge of 4+, 6+, 8+, and 10+ were synthesized and evaluated by utilizing biophysical and biological assays. Lastly, a new class of polynuclear platinum compounds, Hybrid-PPCs, were synthesized and evaluated to overcome the pharmacokinetic problems of BBR3464, phase II clinical trial anticancer drug developed previously in our laboratory.


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