Alkyl gallium(III) quinolinolates: A new class of highly selective anti-leishmanial agents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A series of eight alkyl gallium complexes of general formulae [GaMe2(L)] and [Ga(Me)2L] have been synthesised, characterised and their antimicrobial activity against bacteria, cancer cells and Leishmania assessed. All eight complexes are novel, with the solid-state structures of all complexes successfully authenticated by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The dimethyl complexes all adopt a four-coordinate tetrahedral confirmation, while the monomethyl complexes are five-coordinate trigonal bipyramidal. All complexes were screened for their anti-bacterial activity either by solution state diffusion, or a solid-state stab test. The five soluble complexes underwent testing against two differing mammalian cell controls, with excellent selectivity observed against COS-7 cells, with an IC50 range of 88.5 μM to ≥100 μM. Each soluble complex was also tested for their anti-cancer capabilities, with no significant activity observed. Excellent activity was exhibited against the protozoan parasite Leishmania major (strain: V121) in both the promastigote and amastigote forms, with IC50 values ranging from 1.11 μM–13.4 μM for their anti-promastigote activity and % infection values of 3.5% ± 0.65–11.5% ± 0.65 for the more clinically relevant amastigote. Selectivity indices for each were found to be in the ranges of 6.61–64.7, with significant selectivity noted for two of the complexes. At minimum, the gallium complexes show a 3-fold enhancement in activity towards the Leishmaniaamastigotes over the parent quinolinols alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111895
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020


  • Bacteria
  • Gallium
  • Leishmania
  • Quinolinol
  • Structure

Cite this