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Synthesis and crystal structures of sterically tuned ether functionalized NHC–silver(I) complexes: antibacterial and nucleic acid interaction studies

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A series of new imidazolium salts (1–4) as N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) precursors have been synthesized by successive N-alkylation method. Reactions of these salts with Ag2O by varying the metal to salt ratio forms a series of new Ag(I)–NHC complexes (5–8). All compounds were characterized by physico-chemical and spectroscopic techniques. The molecular structures of 1 and 5 were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. A comparative investigation of the bacterial growth inhibition potential of the salts and respective complexes indicates that 5–8 displayed good antibacterial activities on Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 12600) and Escherichia coli (ATCC 11303) compared with the salts. Furthermore, it was observed that with increase in chain length at N-positions, the antibacterial activities also increased. Nuclease activity of the reported salts and Ag(I)–NHC complexes with nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) were also studied using agarose gel electrophoresis; the results show that the compounds do not have any apparent interaction with nucleic acids in the absence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). However, 5 and 8 were efficient in promoting the cleavage of nucleic acids in the presence of H2O2.
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Keywords: Ag(I)–NHC complexes; Antibacterial activity; DNA cleavage; N-heterocyclic carbene; X-ray diffraction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Publication date: June 18, 2014

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