Azo-dyes based small bifunctional molecules for metal chelation and controlling amyloid formation

Monika Rana, Hong Jun Cho, Tapta Kanchan Roy, Liviu M. Mirica, Anuj K. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemical tools are needed to discover new effective drugs for tackling multifaceted complex neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD). Multifunctional nature of two compounds, 5-((4-nitrophenyl)diazenyl)quinolin-8-ol (HL1) and 4-((4-nitrophenyl)diazenyl)benzene-1,3-diol (HL2) is reported w.r.t. their ability to bind Cu2+ ions and amyloid aggregates related to AD. HL1 and HL2 have half congo-red type azo-stilbene structural framework incorporated with metal chelating groups, designed to chelate metal ions from metal-amyloid species. Metal binding studies of HL1 and HL2 are established by the methods of Job's Plot, UV-vis spectra with metal ions and stability constant determination. In addition, their metal complexes are isolated, purity checked by elemental analysis, spectroscopically characterized and their structural analyses were obtained from DFT based calculations including binding energy determination. Chicken egg white Lysozyme (CEWL) was used as a model peptide for fibrillation studies. HL1 is found as an excellent colorimetric sensor for amyloid fibrils. Inhibitory effect of HL1 and HL2 and their isolated metal complexes L1-Cu and L2-Cu on CEWL fibrillation was studied using ThT and ANS fluorescence assay along with TEM imaging. In addition, the cell toxicity studies on these compounds suggest that although azo dyes may be non-toxic but having a nitro-substitution lead to significant cell toxicity. Overall, these results suggest that this new class of multifunctional small molecules can interact with amyloids as well as metal ions and could be potential anti-aggregation metal chelating agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
JournalInorganica Chimica Acta
StatePublished - Feb 24 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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