ChemMedChem. 2021 Jul 16. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.202100381. Online ahead of print.
A series of (NHC)Au(I)Cl monocarbene complexes and their gold(III) analogues (NHC)Au(III)Cl 3 were prepared and investigated as antibacterial agents and inhibitors of bacterial TrxR. The complexes showed stronger antibacterial effects against the Gram-positive MRSA and E. faecium strains than against several Gram-negative bacteria. All complexes were efficient inhibitors of bacterial thioredoxin reductase, suggesting that inhibition of this enzyme might be involved in their mechanism of action. The efficacy of gold(I) and gold(III) analogues was comparable in most of the assays. The cytotoxicity of the gold NHC compounds against cancer and human cells was overall weaker than the activity against the Gram-positive bacteria, suggesting that their optimization as antibacterials warrants further investigation.