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Multitargeting Antibacterial Activity of a Synthesized Mn2+ Complex of Curcumin on Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacterial Strains

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journal contribution
posted on 06.07.2020, 12:03 by Tanmoy Saha, Prince Kumar, Nayim Sepay, Durba Ganguly, Kanchan Tiwari, Kasturi Mukhopadhyay, Saurabh Das
Curcumin is an important molecule with a plethora of pharmacological activities and therapeutic potentials. Despite its efficacy, it remained a potential drug candidate owing to hydrolytic instability and poor aqueous solubility. To overcome the limitations related to low solubility, low bioavailability, and the fact that curcumin is never present in solution as a “single unit”, its complex was prepared with MnII with the idea that binding to a metal ion might help to resolve these issues. The complex was characterized by elemental and spectral analysis. The structure of the complex was determined by density functional theory calculations. The complex was stable at physiological buffer conditions, unlike curcumin. It did not have any detrimental effect on mammalian cells. There was a significant enhancement in the antibacterial activity of the complex compared to curcumin against both Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. It showed a strong affinity for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evident from a high binding constant value with calf thymus DNA and also from the retarded electrophoretic mobility of bacterial plasmid DNA. The complex showed “superoxide dismutase-like” activity leading to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The complex caused bacterial membrane perturbation evident from calcein leakage assay, which was further corroborated by scanning and transmission electron microscopic experiments. Overall, the present study shows improved stability and antibacterial potency of a nontoxic complex over curcumin. Its multitargeting mode of action such as ROS-production, effective binding with DNA, and permeabilization of bacterial membrane together allows it to be an effective antibacterial agent that could be taken further for therapeutic use against bacterial infections.