The synthesis and characterisation of R3PAu[S2CN((i)Pr)CH2CH2OH], for R = Ph (1), Cy (2) and Et (3)4, is reported. Compounds 1-3 are cytotoxic against the doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cell line, MCF-7R, with 1 exhibiting greater potency and cytotoxicity than either of doxorubicin and cisplatin. Based on human apoptosis PCR-array analysis, caspase activities, DNA fragmentation, cell apoptotic assays, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) measurements and human topoisomerase I inhibition, induction of apoptosis by 1, and necrosis by 2 and 3, are demonstrated, by both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. Compound 1 activates the p53 gene, 2 activates only the p73 gene, whereas 3 activates both the p53 and p73 genes. Compounds 1 and 3 activate NF-κB, and each inhibits topoisomerase I.
Four compounds, R3PAu[S2CN(CH2CH2OH)2], R=Ph (1) and cyclohexyl (2), and Et3PAuS2CNRꞌ2, Rꞌ=Rꞌ=Et (3) and Rꞌ2=(CH2)4(4), have been evaluated for antibacterial activity against a panel of 24 Gram positive (8) and Gram negative (16) bacteria. Based on minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) scores, compounds 1 and 2 were shown to be specifically potent against Gram positive bacteria whereas compounds 3 and, to a lesser extent, 4 exhibited broad range activity. All four compounds were active against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Time kill assays revealed the compounds to exhibit both time- and concentration-dependent pharmacokinetics against susceptible bacteria. Each compound was bactericidal against one or more bacteria with 3 being especially potent after 8h exposure; compounds 1 and 3 were bactericidal against MRSA. Compound 3 was the most effective bactericide across the series especially toward B. subtilis, S. saprophyticus, A. hydrophila, P. vulgaris, and V. parahaemolyticus. This study demonstrates the potential of this class of compounds as antibacterial agents, either broad range or against specific bacteria.