Multi-target activity of copper complexes: Antibacterial, DNA binding, and molecular docking with SARS-CoV-2 receptor

Arthi P., Dharmasivam M., KAYA B., Rahiman A. K.

CHEMICO-BIOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS, vol.373, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 373
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cbi.2023.110349
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


A series of pendant-armed mixed-ligand copper(II) complexes of the type [CuL1-3(diimine)] (1-6) have been synthesized by the reaction of pendant-armed ligands N,N-bis(2-(((E)-2-hydroxy-5-methylbenzylidene)amino) ethyl)benzamide (H2L1), N,N-bis(2-(((E)-2-hydroxy-5-methylbenzylidene)amino)ethyl)-4-nitrobenzamide (H2L2) and N,N-bis(2-(((E)-2-hydroxy-5-methylbenzylidene)amino)ethyl)-3,5-dinitrobenzamide (H2L3) with diimine = 2,2 '-bipyridyl (bpy) or 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) in the presence of copper(II) chloride and analyzed using various spectroscopic methods. All the spectroscopic results support that the complexes adopt a pentagonal-bipyramidal shape around the copper ion. Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were used to test all the complexes for antibacterial activity and all the complexes had greater potency against gram-negative pathogens. DNA-binding experiments of complexes with calf thymus DNA revealed a major-groove binding pattern, further supported by molecular docking studies. Complexes have significantly interacted with SARS-CoV-2 receptor via z-z, z-sigma, z-alkyl, z-anion, z-cation, alkyl, hydrogen bond, van der Waals, and electrostatic interactions. The estimated binding energy and inhibition constant of these complexes are higher than standard drugs, chloro-quine, and molnupiravir.