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Dichlorotetrakis(dimethyl sulfoxide) ruthenium (II)
Systematic IUPAC name
Ruthenium, dichlorotetrakis(sulfinylbis(methane))- (9CI)
Other names
Tetrakis(dimethylsulfoxide)dichlororuthenium(II), Dichlorotetrakis(methylsulfoxide)ruthenium, Dichlorotetrakis(sulfinylbis(methane))ruthenium
Molar mass 484.51 g/mol
Appearance Various shades of yellow crystals
water miscible
Solubility nitromethane, chloroform, dichloromethane
octahedral coordinate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Dichlorotetrakis(dimethyl sulfoxide) ruthenium(II) describes coordination compounds with the formula RuCl2(dmso)4, where DMSO is dimethylsulfoxide. These complexes illustrate linkage isomerism for the ligand DMSO.[1] In these complexes, two chloride anions and four molecules of dmso are coordinated to a central ruthenium (II) core.


RuCl2(dmso)4 has been isolated as two isomers, but each is an octahedral coordination compound. The ruthenium adopts a +2 oxidation state, and the compounds follows the 18 electron rule.

The two isomers are cis,fac-RuCl2(dmso-S)3(dmso-O) and trans, mer-RuCl2(dmso-S)4. The trans, mer configuration is kinetically favored, but thermodynamically unstable with respect to the cis isomer. Cis and trans refer to the relative positions of the chloride ligands. The fac/mer describes the binding of the dmso ligands. The notation dmso-S/O refers to the atom through which the dmso molecule is coordinated to the ruthenium center. Thus, dmso-S means that the dmso ligand coordinates through the sulfur atom, whereas dmso-O coordinates through the oxygen atom.

cis,fac isomer
trans,mer isomer


The complexes were first prepared by heating DMSO solutions of ruthenium trichloride under hydrogen atmosphere.[2] An alternative procedure has been developed which avoids hydrogen gas.[3][4]

Potential applications[edit]

RuCl2(dmso)4 was idenfified as a potential anticancer agent as far back as the early 1980s.[5] Continued research[6][7] has led to the development of several related dmso-containing ruthenium compounds, some of which have undergone early-stage clinical trials.[8]


  1. ^ Enzo Alessio (2004). "Synthesis and reactivity of Ru-, Os-, Rh-, and Ir-halide-sulfoxide compounds". Chem. Rev. 104 (9): 4203–4242. doi:10.1021/cr0307291. 
  2. ^ B. R. James; E. Ochiai; G.I. Rempel (1971). "Ruthenium (II) halide dimethylsulphoxide complexes from hydrogenation reactions". Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry Letters. 7 (8): 781–784. doi:10.1016/0020-1650(71)80091-0. 
  3. ^ I. Bratsos; E. Alessio (2010). "Ruthenium(II) chloro complexes of dimethylsulfoxide". Inorganic Syntheses. 35: 148–152. doi:10.1002/9780470651568.ch8. 
  4. ^ Nagy, E. M.; Pettenuzzo, A. (2012). "Ruthenium(II/III)-Based Compounds with Encouraging Antiproliferative Activity against Non-small-Cell Lung Cancer". Chemistry: A European Journal. 18: 14464–14472. doi:10.1002/chem.201202171. 
  5. ^ Sava, Gianni; Giraldi, Tullio; Mestroni, Giovanni; Zassinovich, Grazia (July 1983). "Antitumor effects of rhodium(I), iridium(I) and ruthenium(II) complexes in comparison with cis-dichlorodiammino platinum(II) in mice bearing Lewis lung carcinoma". Chemico-Biological Interactions. 45 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1016/0009-2797(83)90037-6. 
  6. ^ Coluccia, Mauro; Sava, Gianni; Loseto, Francesco; Nassi, Anna; Boccarelli, Angela; Giordano, Domenico; Alessio, Enzo; Mestroni, Giovanni (January 1993). "Anti-leukaemic action of RuCl2(DMSO)4 isomers and prevention of brain involvement on P388 leukaemia and on subline". European Journal of Cancer. 29 (13): 1873–1879. doi:10.1016/0959-8049(93)90541-M. 
  7. ^ Bratsos, I; Serli, B; Zangranko, E; Katsaros, N; Alessio, E. (2007). "Replacement of chlorides with dicarboxylate ligands in anticancer active Ru(II)-DMSO compounds: A new strategy that might lead to improved activity". Inorg. Chem. 46 (3): 975–992. PMID 17257042. doi:10.1021/ic0613964. 
  8. ^ Enzo Alessio, Bentham Science Publisher; Giovanni Mestroni, Bentham Science Publisher; Alberta Bergamo, Bentham Science Publisher; Gianni Sava, Bentham Science Publisher (1 November 2004). "Ruthenium Antimetastatic Agents". Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry. 4 (15): 1525–1535. doi:10.2174/1568026043387421.