Table of Contents
Metal-Based Drugs
Volume 7 (2000), Issue 6, Pages 301-311

A Theoretical-Experimental Study on the Structure and Activity of Certain Quinolones and the Interaction of Their Cu(II)-Complexes on a DNA Model

Facultad de Química, Universidad de Guanajuato, Noria Alta S/n, Guanajuato GTO. 36050, Mexico

Received 11 January 2001; Accepted 21 January 2001

Copyright © 2000 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.


Theoretical electronic Structure methods have been employed to study the structure and activity of certain (free) quinolones and the interaction of their Cu(II)-complexes on a DNA model (Rhodamine 6G (rhod)). As a manner of assessing the generated geometries, the nalidixic acid geometrical parameters obtained were tested against the crystallographic ones and it was found that the average error in the calculated geometries is small. The present study allows us to (1) Rationalize the observed differences in antibiotic activities through their electronic hardnesses. (2) Suggest a plausible mechanism of action for these drugs through formation of a reactive intermediate (or carrier) which would consist of a quinolone anion coordinated to an adequate metal center (Cu(II) in this study). (3) We find that, through this model of DNA (modeled with rhod) the interaction seems to be mediated by an effective π-π stacking. (4) Finally, an in vitro experiment was designed so that the intercalation process in DNA could be experimentally modeled as well. The quenching of the rhod fluorescence is proportional to the strength of the Cu(II)-complex-rhod interaction and therefore provides a quantitative measurement of the “intercalating” capacity of the quinolones and their copper complexes. These results agree well with the theoretical total adduct formation energies.