Repository logo

Metal Mediated Mechanisms of Drug Release



Change log


Stenton, Benjamin James  ORCID logo


In this thesis will be described research towards the development of bioorthogonal bond-cleavage reactions, and their applications in targeted drug delivery (Figure 1). The first project relates to the development of a palladium mediated bond-cleavage or “decaging” reaction which can cause a propargyl carbamate to decompose and release an amine. This was further developed by the incorporation of a protein modification handle which allowed an amine-bearing drug to be covalently ligated to a protein by a palladium-cleavable linker. This chemistry was demonstrated by the conjugation of the anticancer drug doxorubicin to a tumour targeted anti-HER2 nanobody. The drug could then be delivered to cancer cells upon addition of a palladium complex.

The second project relates to the development of a platinum mediated bond-cleavage reaction. This was developed with the aim of using platinum-containing anticancer drugs – such as cisplatin – as a catalyst to cause drug release reactions in tumours. In this reaction an alkyne-containing amide can decompose to release an amine upon addition of platinum complexes, and was applied to the release of prodrugs of the cytotoxins monomethylauristatin E and 5-fluorouracil in cancer cells. A cisplatin-cleavable antibody-drug conjugate was designed and synthesised, and progress towards its biological evaluation will be discussed.





Bernardes, Goncalo


Bioorthogonal, decaging, linker, ADC, antibody-drug conjugate, targeted drug delivery, drug delivery, bifunctional linker, protein modification, organometallic, catalysis, chemotherapy, cancer, bioconjugation, conjugation


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge