Nanoformulation improves activity of the (pre)clinical anticancer ruthenium complex KP1019

P. Heffeter, A. Riabtseva, Y. Senkiv, C. R. Kowol, W. Körner, U. Jungwith, N. Mitina, B. K. Keppler, T. Konstantinova, I. Yanchuk, R. Stoika, A. Zaichenko, W. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)


Ruthenium anticancer drugs belong to the most promising non-platinum anticancer metal compounds in clinical evaluation. However, although the clinical results are promising regarding both activity and very low adverse effects, the clinical application is currently hampered by the limited solubility and stability of the drug in aqueous solution. Here, we present a new nanoparticle formulation based on polymer-based micelles loaded with the anticancer lead ruthenium compound KP1019. Nanoprepared KP1019 was characterised by enhanced stability in aqueous solutions. Moreover, the nanoparticle formulation facilitated cellular accumulation of KP1019 (determined by ICP-MS measurements) resulting in significantly lowered IC50 values. With regard to the mode of action, increased cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase (PI-staining), DNA damage (Comet assay) as well as enhanced levels of apoptotic cell death (caspase 7 and PARP cleavage) were found in HCT116 cells treated with the new nanoformulation of KP1019. Summarizing, we present for the first time evidence that nanoformulation is a feasible strategy for improving the stability as well as activity of experimental anticancer ruthenium compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-884
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2014


  • Anticancer cancer therapy
  • Cell death induction
  • Drug delivery
  • Nanocarrier
  • Ruthenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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