Anticancer and antimicrobial properties of imidazolium based ionic liquids with salicylate anion

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Suzana Јovanović-Šanta
Vesna Kojić
Kristina Atlagić
Aleksandar Tot
Milan Vraneš
Slobodan Gadžurić
Maja Karaman


Ionic liquids (ILs) are well known for their physicochemical pro­perties that recommend them for many purposes. However, many ILs are not environmentally friendly. Bearing these facts in mind, a series of imidazolium- and salicylate-based ILs with low general toxicity were designed and their pharmacological potential studied. Herein, their antiproliferative effect against human cancer cell lines and antimicrobial activity on selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and Candida strains are presented. ILs with 1-butyl-
-3-methylimidazolium or imidazolium cation (IL 1 and compound 5), with the lowest dipole moments and highest lipophilicity, exerted highest cytotoxicity against colon and/or lung cancer cells, manifesting high selectivity to the normal cells. The most non-polar IL with the 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium cation expressed the strongest anticancer potential, but it was also toxic against normal cells, although its cytotoxicity was less than the cytotoxic effect of commercially used chemotherapeutic agents. The same compounds, IL 1 and compound 5, expressed modest effect on the bacterial strain that causes serious lung diseases and pul­monary infections (Staphylococcus aureus) or which are included in colon cancer formation (Esherichia coli and Enterococcus fae­calis). Salicylate itself was toxic against lung cancer cell line A549 and affected some Candida strains.


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How to Cite
Јovanović-Šanta S., “Anticancer and antimicrobial properties of imidazolium based ionic liquids with salicylate anion”, J. Serb. Chem. Soc., vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 291–303, Mar. 2020.
Biochemistry & Biotechnology


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