Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Maria Contel

Committee Members

Lesley Davenport

Brian Gibney

Sanjai Pathak

Joe Ramos

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Biology | Chemistry | Computational Chemistry | Inorganic Chemistry | Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry | Organic Chemistry


heterometallic, platinum(IV), gold(I), anticancer agents, TNBC


Heterometallic compounds have emerged as prospective multitarget anticancer drugs. These species may display improved efficacy and physicochemical properties compared to the individual metallic fragments, while helping combat drug resistance by exerting effects on multiple pathways. In this thesis we describe the synthesis of new bi- and tri-metallic compounds based on platinum(IV) compounds containing FDA-approved platinum agents, and gold(I) derivatives with known anticancer properties. We demonstrate their toxicity and selectivity against a small panel of renal, bladder, ovarian, and breast cancer cell lines, as well as their synergistic effects. We have selected a trinuclear PtAu2compound containing the Pt(IV) core based on oxaliplatin for further investigation for its cell-death pathway, cell and organelle uptake and anticancer effects against the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) MDA-MB-231 cell line. This compound induces apoptosis and accumulates mainly in the nucleus and mitochondria. It also exerts remarkable antimigratory and antiangiogenic properties and has a potent cytotoxic effect against TNBC 3D spheroids. Trinuclear compounds do not seem to display relevant interactions with calf thymus (CT) DNA and plasmid (pBR322) even in the presence of reducing agents but inhibit pro-angiogenic enzyme thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) in TNBC cells. These results highlight the potential of heterometallic Pt-Au compounds as anticancer agents for TNBC and other cancers.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Tuesday, March 04, 2025

Graduate Center users:
To read this work, log in to your GC ILL account and place a thesis request.

Non-GC Users:
See the GC’s lending policies to learn more.