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pp 1-27 | Cite as

A Periodic Table for Life and Medicines

  • Russell J. Needham
  • Peter J. SadlerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Structure and Bonding book series

Abstract

Mendeleev’s periodic table of 63 elements, now extended to 118 elements, provides a basis for asking rational questions about which elements are essential for human life and which can be used in the design of medicines. However, the extent of such knowledge is relatively poor, and greatly in need of further investigation. We describe how the periodic table has inspired our curiosity about inorganic chemistry in the human body (and other organisms), about genetically encoded natural selection of elements, and the design of novel metallodrugs with new mechanisms of action. We highlight the importance in metallodrug design of not only the metal itself and its oxidation state, but also the nature of the ligands and their substituents, which affect both the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of metal complexes, and their biological activity. There is much scope for the design of new medicines with novel mechanisms of action to fight resistant diseases, but understanding the coordination chemistry of metal complexes in complicated biological media and tissues is a major challenge, requiring the introduction of new experimental methods.

Keywords

Anticancer complexes Bioinorganic chemistry Inorganic chemical biology Medicinal inorganic chemistry Metallodrug design 

Abbreviations

Asp

Aspartic acid

Big

Biguanide

Carboplatin

[Pt(1,1-cyclobutanedicarboxylate)(NH3)2]

Cisplatin

Cis-[PtCl2(NH3)2]

Cp*

Pentamethylcyclopentadienyl

CTR1

Copper transporter 1

Cys

Cysteine

en

Ethylenediamine

EPR

Electron paramagnetic resonance

G

Guanine

GMP

Guanosine 5′-monophosphate

GSH

Glutathione (γ-L-Glu-L-Cys-Gly)

GSSG

Oxidised glutathione

His

Histidine

HSQC

Heteronuclear single quantum coherence

L-Met

L-methionine

MRSA

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

NAD+

Oxidised nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide

NADH

Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide

NMR

Nuclear magnetic resonance

Oxaliplatin

[Pt(trans-1R,2R-1,2-diaminocyclohexane)(oxalate)]

Picoplatin

cis-PtC[l2(NH3)(2-Me-pyridine)]

Tyr

Tyrosine

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the EPSRC (grant EP/P030572/1), Wellcome Trust (grant 107691/Z/15/Z), ERC (grant 247450), Royal Society, China Scholarship Council, AngloAmerican, and other bodies for their support for our research, as well as all our collaborators.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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