A new and never before reported hetero-arylidene-9(10H)-anthrone structure (4) was unexpectedly isolated on reaction of 1,2-dimethyl-3-ethylimidazolium iodide (2) and 9-anthracenecarboxaldehyde (3) under basic conditions. Its structure was unequivocally confirmed by X-ray crystallography. No cytotoxicity in human healthy fibroblasts and in two different cancer cell lines was observed, indicating its applicability in biological systems. Compound 4 interacts with CT-DNA by intercalation between the adjacent base pairs of DNA with a high binding affinity [Kb = 2.0 (±0.20) × 105 m–1], which is 10 × higher than that described for doxorubicin [Kb = 3.2 (±0.23) × 104 m–1]. Furthermore, compound 4 quenches the fluorescence emission of a GelRed–CT-DNA system with a quenching constant (KSV) of 3.3 (±0.3) × 103 m–1 calculated by the Stern–Volmer equation.
- DNA intercalation
- Imidazolium salt