Abstract: Suzie Kim
Mentor: Dr. Burgmayer
In the Burgmayer lab, a family of ruthenium (II) tris-chelate compounds are synthesized and examined for their potential anticancer pharmaceutical properties. Ruthenium compounds are thought to distort the helical shape of DNA which can potentially inhibit the excess replication of tumor cells. In many cases, the insertion of a Ru compound between DNA base pair steps in the DNA helix distorts the shape. This is called intercalation.
The Ru compounds possess large planar ligands that intercalate between the DNA base pairs. When exposed to UV light, intercalating Ru compounds photocleave plasmid DNA. The gel electrophoresis is used to examine photocleavage. Though the mechanism of photocleavage is still unclear, reactive oxygen molecules are thought to be involved.
In lab, we will be exploring the photocleavage abilities of the Ru compounds. Optimal conditions have been created to investigate intercalation and we will study how metals (ie. Co, Cu, Mn) aid the intercalation. We will also study intercalation properties with Ostwald Viscosity tests; the more viscous or slower the flow time will indicate that intercalation occurs. We will also investigate which Ru compound concentrations intercalate optimally.