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Rhenium Complexes with Red-Light-Induced Anticancer Activity



Rhenium(I) pyridocarbazole complexes with photoinduced antiproliferative activity are reported. The substitutionally inert complexes induce cell death by singlet oxygen generation upon irradiation with red light (λ ≥ 620 nm), whereas only weak background cytotoxicity is observed in the dark. Owing to their ability to inhibit protein kinases (nanomolar IC50 values against Pim1 at 10 μM ATP), this class of rhenium complexes point in the direction of dual function antiproliferative therapy with a single drug in which photodynamic therapy is combined with the inhibition of cancer-related protein kinases.