Synthesis, characterization, and antiproliferative activity of novel chiral [quinoxp*Aucl2]+ complexes

Adedamola S. Arojojoye, R. Tyler Mertens, Samuel Ofori, Sean R. Parkin, Samuel G. Awuah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Herein is reported the synthesis of two Au(III) complexes bearing the (R,R)-(–)-2,3-Bis(tert-butylmethylphosphino)quinoxaline (R,R-QuinoxP*) or (S,S)-(+)-2,3-Bis(tertbutylmethylphosphino)quinoxaline (S,S-QuinoxP*) ligands. By reacting two stoichiometric equivalents of HAuCl4 .3H2O to one equivalent of the corresponding QuinoxP* ligand, (R,R)-(–)-2,3Bis(tert-butylmethylphosphino)quinoxalinedichlorogold(III) tetrachloroaurates(III) (1) and (S,S)(+)-2,3-Bis(tert-butylmethylphosphino)quinoxalinedichlorogold(III) tetrachloroaurates(III) (2) were formed, respectively, in moderate yields. The structure of (S,S)-(+)-2,3-Bis(tert-butylmethylphosphino) quinoxalinedichlorogold(III) tetrachloroaurates(III) (2) was further confirmed by X-ray crystallography. The antiproliferative activities of the two compounds were evaluated in a panel of cell lines and exhibited promising results comparable to auranofin and cisplatin with IC50 values between 1.08 and 4.83 µM. It is noteworthy that in comparison to other platinum and ruthenium enantiomeric complexes, the two enantiomers (1 and 2) do not exhibit different cytotoxic effects. The compounds exhibited stability in biologically relevant media over 48 h as well as inert reactivity to excess glutathione at 37C. These results demonstrate that the Au(III) atom, stabilized by the QuinoxP* ligand, can provide exciting compounds for novel anticancer drugs. These complexes provide a new scaffold to further develop a robust and diverse library of chiral phosphorus Au(III) complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5735
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: We are grateful to the University of Kentucky for funding. The authors acknowledge support of the Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (NIH P20 GM130456).

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank all of the facilities at the University of Kentucky which provided support in completion of the experiments detailed in this manuscript. The UK NMR Center supported by NSF (CHE-997738) and the UK X-ray facility supported by the MRI program from NSF (CHE-1625732).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Anticancer activity
  • Antiproliferative
  • Auranofin
  • Cisplatin
  • Gold
  • Ligands
  • QuinoxP*

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesis, characterization, and antiproliferative activity of novel chiral [quinoxp*Aucl2]+ complexes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this