Inhibition of C. albicans dimorphic switch by cobalt(II) complexes with ligands derived from pyrazoles and dinitrobenzoate: Synthesis, characterization and biological activity
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Seven cobalt(II) complexes of pyrazole derivatives and dinitrobenzoate ligands were synthesized and characterized. The single-crystal X-ray diffraction structure was determined for one of the ligands and one of the complexes. The analysis and spectral data showed that all the cobalt complexes had octahedral geometries, which was supported by DFT calculations. The complexes and their free ligands were evaluated against fungal strains of Candida albicans and emerging non-albicans species and epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi. We obtained antifungal activity with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranging from 31.3 to 250 µg mL−1. The complexes were more active against C. krusei, showing MIC values between 31.25 and 62.5 µg mL−1 . In addition, some ligands (L1–L6) and complexes (5 and Co(OAc)2 · 4H2O) significantly reduced the yeast to hypha transition of C. albicans at 500 µg mL−1 (inhibition ranging from 30 to 54%). Finally, the complexes and ligands did not present trypanocidal activity and were not toxic to Vero cells. Our results suggest that complexes of cobalt(II) with ligands derived from pyrazoles and dinitrobenzoate may be an attractive alternative for the treatment of diseases caused by fungi, especially because they target one of the most important virulence factors of C. albicans.