The synthesis, photoactivation and biological activity of a new piano-stool Ru(II) complex is herein reported. The peculiarity of this complex is that its monodentate ligand which undergoes the photodissociation is an asymmetric bis-thiocarbohydrazone ligand that possesses a pyridine moiety binding to Ru(II) and the other moiety contains a quinoline that endows the ligand with the capacity of chelating other metal ions. In this way, upon dissociation, the ligand can be released in the form of a metal complex. In this article, the double ability of this new Ru(II) complex to photorelease the ligand and to chelate copper and nickel is explored and confirmed. The biological activity of this compound is studied in cell line A549 revealing that, after irradiation, proliferation inhibition is reached at very low half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values. Further, biological assays reveal that the dinuclear complex containing Ni is internalized in cells.
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