Metals and Metal derivatives in Medicine
Authors: Colotti, G; Ilari, A; Boffi, A; Morea, V
Mini - Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry.
HERO ID: 1070408
Several chemical elements are required by living organisms in addition to the four elements carbon, . . .
Several chemical elements are required by living organisms in addition to the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen usually present in common organic molecules. Many metals (e.g. sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum and selenium) are known to be required for normal biological functions in humans. Disorders of metal homeostasis and of metal bioavailability, or toxicity caused by metal excess, are responsible for a large number of human diseases. Metals are also extensively used in medicine as therapeutic and/or diagnostic agents. In the past 5000 years, metals such as arsenic, gold and iron have been used to treat a variety of human diseases. Nowadays, an ever-increasing number of metal-based drugs is available. These contain a broad spectrum of metals, many of which are not among those essential for humans, able to target proteins and/or DNA. This mini-review describes metal-containing compounds targeting DNA or proteins currently in use, or designed to be used, as therapeutics against cancer, arthritis, parasitic and other diseases, with a special focus on the available information, often provided by X-ray studies, about their mechanism of action at a molecular level. In addition, an overview of metal complexes used for diagnosing diseases is presented.