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Title: The impact of counterions in biological activity: case study of antibacterial alkylguanidino ureas
Authors: Ardino, Claudia
Sannio, Filomena
Pasero, Carolina
Botta, Lorenzo 
Dreassi, Elena
Docquier, Jean-Denis
D'Agostino, Ilaria
Issue Date: 2022
Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), due to its strong acidity and low boiling point, is extensively used in protecting groups-based synthetic strategies. Indeed, synthetic compounds bearing basic functions, such as amines or guanidines (commonly found in peptido or peptidomimetic derivatives), developed in the frame of drug discovery programmes, are often isolated as trifluoroacetate (TF-Acetate) salts and their biological activity is assessed as such in in vitro, ex vivo, or in vivo experiments. However, the presence of residual amounts of TFA was reported to potentially affect the accuracy and reproducibility of a broad range of cellular assays (e. g. antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and cytotoxicity assays) limiting the further development of these derivatives. Furthermore, the impact of the counterion on biological activity, including TF-Acetate, is still controversial. Herein, we present a focused case study aiming to evaluate the activity of an antibacterial AlkylGuanidino Urea (AGU) compound obtained as TF-Acetate (1a) and hydrochloride (1b) salt forms to highlight the role of counterions in affecting the biological activity. We also prepared and tested the corresponding free base (1c). The exchange of the counterions applied to polyguanidino compounds represents an unexplored and challenging field, which required significant efforts for the successful optimization of reliable methods of preparation, also reported in this work. In the end, the biological evaluation revealed a quite similar biological profile for the salt derivatives 1a and 1b and a lower potency was found for the free base 1c.
ISSN: 1381-1991
DOI: 10.1007/s11030-022-10505-6
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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