A Benzimidazolium-Based Organic Cage with Antimicrobial Activity

S. La Cognata, D. Armentano, N. Marchesi, P. Grisoli, A. Pascale, M. Kieffer, A. Taglietti, A. P. Davis, and V. Amendola

Chemistry. 2022, 4, 855-864


Considering the wide interest in (benz)imidazolium-based drugs, we here report our study on a benzimidazolium-based organic cage as potential antimicrobial and antifungal agent. Cytotoxicity studies on a human derived cell line, SH-SY5Y, showed that the cage is not cytotoxic at all at the investigated concentrations. Anion binding studies demonstrated that the cage can bind anions (chloride and nitrate, in particular) both in organic solvent and 20%v D2O/CD3CN mixture. The cage was also tested as anionophore, showing a weak but measurable transport of chloride and nitrate across LUVs vesicles. Nonetheless, the compounds have antimicrobial activity towards Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive bacteria). This is probably the first organic cage studied as anionophore and antimicrobial agent.