Plenary lectures presented at the 2nd Santa María Workshop
on Chemistry Devoted to Bioinorganic Chemistry
Santa María del Mar, Havana,Cuba, 7-11 July 2003
link to conference calendar
The 2nd Santa María Workshop took place on 7-10 July 2003 in
Santa María del Mar, Havana, Cuba and was devoted to bioinorganic
chemistry. The workshop focused on five main areas:metal interaction
with DNA and nucleotides, metalloporphyrins, copper compounds, metal
nitrosyls, and the influence of genomics on bioinorganic chemistry.
The workshop was organized by the University of Havana and the Cuban
Chemical Society. Professor Roberto Cao, chairman of the workshop, and
his bioinorganic chemistry lab were responsible for most of the organizing
In his opening lecture, Prof. Stephen Lippard (MIT) presented an excellent
overview on cisplatin, a research area in which he is a world specialist.
His lecture, entitled Case history and recent advances in understanding
cisplatin, gave the results of his research, mainly the removal
of cisplatin adducts from DNA by nucleotide excision repair (NER) and
the specific binding of high-mobility group (HMG) domain proteins to
the major cisplatin-DNA adducts. Prof. Helmut Sigel (Univ. Basel) provided
another look at metal-DNA interaction in his plenary lecture, entitled
Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP4-): Aspects of the
coordination chemistry of a multitalented biological substrate.
Prof. Sigel focused on self-association of ATP4- and how
metal coordination influences this process.
Prof. Ivano Bertini (Univ. Florence) introduced genomics in his plenary
lecture entitled Perspectives in inorganic structural biology.
He described how genomics is influencing further development in bioinorganic
chemistry, a very novel topic. He presented the latest results obtained
at the Magnetic Resonance Center of the University of Florence, which
he leads, on the proteins involved in the homeostasis of copper. Copper(I)
chaperone proteins, such as Atx1, Ccc2, and CopZ, received special attention.
Studies on metalloporphyrins were introduced by Prof. Jonathan L. Sessler
(Univ.Texas at Austin). He presented the main results achieved at the
University of Texas and Pharmacyclics Inc. on lanthanide(III) texaphyrins
(Tex), a family of expanded porphyrins containing five nitrogen donor
atoms. He presented interesting results on the biological studies, including
phase III clinical trials, of Gd-Tex (registered as Xcytrin). This compound
acts as a radiation sensitizer in the treatment of brain metastases.
It is assumed that this compound works selectively on the mitochondria
of neoplasic cells through the development of an acute oxidative stress.
Prof. Peter Ford (Univ. California at Santa Barbara) presented a plenary
lecture entitled Probing fundamental mechanisms of nitric oxide
reactions with metal centers and other biologically relevant targets.
He presented the results of kinetic studies on several aspects of metal-nitrosyl
interactions, namely, formation of ferri-and ferro-heme nitrosyl complexes,
reductive nitrosylation of Fe(III) porphyrins, and reactions that potentially
involve the ubiquitous NxOy impurities resulting
from NO auto-oxidation in aqueous and hydrophobic media.
Prof. Wolfgang Kaim (Univ. Stuttgart) presented an interesting plenary
lecture entitled Cooperation of metals with electroactive ligands
of biochemical relevance:Beyond metalloporphyrins. He focused
on the redox processes that take place in Mo (or W) oxotransferases
and copper-topaquinone. In the latter case, an intramolecular electron
transfer takes place.
The next workshop in the series, III SMWC, will take place on 12-15
July 2004 and will be devoted to supramolecular chemistry.
Organizing Committee: R.Cao (Chairman), A. Fragoso
(Secretary), A. Diaz, R. Gonzalez, M. Ortiz, I. Sanchez.