Di-2-pyridylketone-4,4,-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT) exhibits significant antitumor activity. However, the mechanism of its pharmacological interaction with human serum albumin (HSA) and DNA remains poorly understood. Here, we aimed to elucidate the interactions of Dp44mT with HSA and DNA using MTT assays, spectroscopic methods, and molecular docking analysis. Our results indicated that addition of HSA at a ratio of 1:1 did not alter the cytotoxicity of Dp44mT, but did affect the cytotoxicity of the Dp44mT-Cu complex. Data from fluorescence quenching and UV-VIS absorbance measurements demonstrated that Dp44mT could bind to HSA with a moderate affinity (Ka = approximately 104 M-1). CD spectra revealed that Dp44mT could slightly disrupt the secondary structure of HSA. Dp44mT could also interact with Ct-DNA, but had a moderate binding constant (KEB = approximately 104 M-1). Docking studies indicated that the IB site of HSA, but not the IIA and IIIA sites, could be favorable for Dp44mT and that binding of Dp44mT to HSA involved hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic force, consistent with thermodynamic results from spectral investigations. Thus, the moderate binding affinity of Dp44mT with HSA and DNA partially contributed to its antitumor activity and may be preferable in drug design approaches.
Xu, Z., Liu, Y., Zhou, S., Fu, Y., & Li, C. (2016). Analysis of the interaction of Dp44mT with human serum albumin and calf thymus DNA using molecular docking and spectroscopic techniques. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17071042