Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr Kevin Williams (Director), Dr. Darwin Dahl, and Dr. Eric Conte

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


We have reacted several derivatives of the anticancer drug cisplatin with N-acetyl-Lcysteine (N-AcCys) and N-acetyl-L-methionine (N-AcMet), which are two of the primary amino acid targets of platinum. NMR spectroscopy was used to monitor the reactions and determine the effect the different ligands would have on the platinum reactivity. Several of the platinum compounds were tested at pH of 4 and 7, and with platinum:amino acid ratios of 1:1, 2:1 and 1:2. Competition reactions between cysteine and methionine were done to confirm which would react with the platinum compound first. [Pt(dien)(NO3)]+ reacts faster with methionine than with cysteine at both pH 4 and 7 at a 1:1:1 ratio. [Pt(N,N,N',N',N"-pentamethyldiethylenetriamine)(NO3)]+ reacts with methionine faster at pH 4 but with cysteine faster at pH 7. This is most likely due to the thiol in the cysteine starting to deprotonate around pH 7. [Pt(Me4en)(NO3)2] (Me4en = N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine) forms several products with N-AcCys at both pH 4 and 7, with the amounts of the products varying depending on the ratio of platinum and Cys. Mass spectrometry indicated one product as {[Pt(Me4en)(H2O)]2(N-AcCys)}2+, with two platinum compounds coordinated to a single cysteine. Lastly Pt[(en)(NO3)2] when reacting with N-AcCys at a ratio of 1:1 will coordinate with 2 different Cys molecules. With an excess of Pt the complex prefers to bind to only 1 Cys.


Biochemistry | Inorganic Chemistry