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(tert-butylmethylphosphino)quinoxaline (S,S-QuinoxP*) ligands. By reacting two stoichiometric equivalents of HAuCl4.3H2O to one equivalent of the corresponding QuinoxP* ligand, (R,R)-(–)-2,3-Bis(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 37 °C. 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.

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Published in Molecules, v. 25, issue 23, 5735.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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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).

Related Content

The following are available online: NMR spectra of 1 and 2 (Figures S1–S6); HRMS data of 1 and 2 (Figures S7–S14); HPLC data (Figures S15 and S16); Electrochemistry (Figure S17) and Accession Code.

The supplementary information is also available from the additional file listed at the end of this record.

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