Table of Contents
Metal-Based Drugs
Volume 6 (1999), Issue 4-5, Pages 201-209

Structures of Gold(I) and Silver(I) Thiolate Complexes of Medicinal Interest: A Review and Recent Results

Laboratories for Inorganic Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1, Canada

Received 8 October 1998; Accepted 26 April 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We review the crystal structures, electrospray ionization mass spectra (ESI-MS) data and chiral HPLC data for the racemic and optically pure mononuclear AuL2 complexes, and for racemic [AuLI]n and optically pure [AgLII]n polymers (LI = thiomalate, LII = D-penicillamine). We postulate an equilibrium between polymeric, mononuclear and free ligand species for [AuLII]n (gold sodium thiomalate or GST). The ESI-MS results clearly show a tetrameric principal species in the 1:1 gold polymers, [AuLI]n. For the 1:1 silver: D-penicillamine complex, [AgLII]n, a non-molecular crystal of double helical structure, the ESI-MS results show multi-ligand-silver species, including tetramers, pentamers and hexamers. Other, relevant gold, silver and copper complexes are compared.