A tale of two ends: Repurposing metallic compounds from anti‐tumour agents to effective antibacterial activity

Daniela Alves Ferreira, Luísa Margarida Dias Ribeiro de Sousa Martins, Alexandra R. Fernandes, Marta Martins

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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The rise in antibiotic resistance coupled with the gap in the discovery of active molecules has driven the need for more effective antimicrobials while focusing the attention into the repurpose of already existing drugs. Here, we evaluated the potential antibacterial activity of one cobalt and two zinc metallic compounds previously reported as having anticancer properties. Compounds were tested against a range of Gram‐positive and ‐negative bacteria. The determination of the minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations (MIC/MBC) of the drugs were used to assess their potential antibacterial activity and their effect on bacterial growth. Motility assays were conducted by exposing the bacteria to sub‐MIC of each of the compounds. The effect of sub‐MIC of the compounds on the membrane permeability was measured by ethidium bromide (EtBr) accumulation assay. Cell viability assays were performed in human cells. Compound TS262 was the most active against the range of bacteria tested. No effect was observed on the motility or accumulation of EtBr for any of the bacteria tested. Cell viability assays demonstrated that the compounds showed a decrease in cell viability at the MIC. These results are promising, and further studies on these compounds can lead to the development of new effective antimicrobials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number321
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Drug repurposing
  • Metallic compounds


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