The anticancer activity of monensic acid (MonH) and its biometal(II) complexes [M(Mon)2(H2O)2](M = Mg, Ca, Mn, Co, Ni, Zn) was evaluated against cultured human permanent cell lines established from glioblastoma multiforme (8MGBA) and cancers of the lung (A549), breast (MCF-7), uterine cervix (HeLa) and liver (HepG2). The viability and proliferation of the non-tumor human embryonic cell line Lep3 was also tested. The investigations were carried out using a thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide test, neutral red uptake cytotoxicity assay, crystal violet staining, colony forming method and double staining with acridin orange and propidium iodide. The results obtained reveal that the compounds applied at concentrations of 0.5–25 µg mL−1 for 24–72 h decrease the viability and proliferation of the treated cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. The metal(II) complexes studied (especially those of Co(II), Ni(II) and Zn(II)) have been found to express stronger cytotoxic and cytostatic activities than the non-coordinated monensic acid. The non-tumor human cell line showed strong chemosensitivity towards compounds tested comparable to that of cultured human tumor cell lines. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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