The complexation of carboxylic acid Monensin A (MonH, 1a) with CoCl2.6H2O and MnCl2.4H2O leads to the formation of mononuclear complexes [Co(Mon)2(H2O)2], 2a and [Mn(Mon)2(H2O)2], 2b, respectively. The unique crystal structures of 2a and 2b were determined by X-ray crystallography. The complexes crystallize in the monoclinic space group P21 with an octahedrally coordinated transition metal center forming the crystallographically centrosymmetric chromophore CoO6 or MnO6, respectively. Two molecules of Monensin A act bidentately through their carboxylate moiety and a hydroxyl group, and two water molecules are additionally transcoordinated. Although the transition metal ions are not bound into the cavity of the ligand, the unusual bidentate coordination mode of the ionophore induces its “pseudo-cyclization” forming 22-membered cycles further stabilized by a number of H-bonds. The complexes are the first example of divalent metal complexes of the monovalent polyether ionophore. The parallel study on the complexation ability of the potassium complex of Monensin A (MonK, 1b) towards Co(II) and Mn(II) showed the formation of the isostructural complexes 2a and 2b accompanied by loss of the potassium ion due to the new coordination mode of the ligand. The biological tests performed with the antibiotic MonH and the corresponding metal(II) complexes show greatly enhanced antimicrobial activity of complexes 2a-b against Gram(+)-bacteria.
Keywords: Monovalent polyether ionophore, bidentate monensin, divalent metal complexes, antimicrobial agents, ionophoric coccidiostats, distorted macrochelates
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