Development of novel coordination compounds bearing anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects represents the main goals of two research projects solved by the team of Zdeněk Trávníček from the Czech Advanced Technology Research Institute (CATRIN), which were granted by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic. The aim of one of them is also associated with the promotion of collaboration between Czech and Austrian researchers.
The first project entitled Anticancer active coordination compounds with multimodal effect, financially supported by ca 7.2 million CZK (» 277 000 Euros), will be solvedduring the next three years starting on April 2021.
„Project is focused on the development of novel coordination compounds of copper, zinc and iron, which contain a combination of at least two cytotoxic components in one molecule. This strategy can lead to discovery of safer and more effective anticancer drugs. In the physiological environment, these compounds can transform into at least two cytotoxic species, affecting diverse cellular targets and thereby efficiently support the processes leading to programmed cell death. “Moreover, a negative impact of such cytotoxic species on healthy cells should be negligible”, as clarified by Zdeněk Trávníček, the principal investigator of the project and head of the Davison of biologically active complexes and molecular magnets of CATRIN. The obtained results should significantly expand the current knowledge crucial for design and development of new and highly efficient anticancer metallotherapeutics.
Whilst the employees of CATRIN will participate exclusively in the above specified grant project, the second one, a Czech-Austrian project, entitled Complexes of selected transition metals with plant-derived compounds with anti-NF-kB and pro-PPAR dual activities, is also focused, among others, on strengthening national and international collaborations. In this project, the researchers from Faculty of Pharmacy, Masaryk University in Brno under the lead of professor Karel Šmejkal and from Institute of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research, Centre for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna under supervision of professor Pavel Uhrín are also included.
„The development of new transition metal complexes (zinc, copper, gold) with secondary metabolites of medicinal plants, namely prenylated plant polyphenols, will be one of the main tasks within this international and multidisciplinary project. Our object is to prepare complexes with dual anti-inflammatory activity, i.e. the compounds which will inhibit the activity of pro-inflammatory NF-κB transcription factor and simultaneously stimulate the anti-inflammatory PPAR nuclear receptors” as commented by Zdeněk Trávníček.
The project solving started in January 2021 and should be finished by the end of 2023. The financial support going to Palacký University is ca 6.8 million CZK (» 261 000 Euros).
Diagram showing the essence of the project. (Author J. Vančo)