Aurocyanide, dicyano-aurate (I), a pharmacologically active metabolite of medicinal gold complexes

Graham, G. G., Whitehouse, M. W. and Bushell, G. R. (2008) Aurocyanide, dicyano-aurate (I), a pharmacologically active metabolite of medicinal gold complexes. Inflammopharmacology, 16 3: 126-132. doi:10.1007/s10787-007-0020-y

Author Graham, G. G.
Whitehouse, M. W.
Bushell, G. R.
Title Aurocyanide, dicyano-aurate (I), a pharmacologically active metabolite of medicinal gold complexes
Journal name Inflammopharmacology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0925-4692
Publication date 2008-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10787-007-0020-y
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 126
End page 132
Total pages 7
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher Birkhäuser Basel
Language eng
Subject 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
111502 Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Formatted abstract
The aurocyanide anion, Au(CN)2−, is a human metabolite of several anti-rheumatic gold complexes containing monovalent gold (I) bound to a sulphur ligand. This article reviews some of the chemical and pharmacological properties of this intriguing metabolite, and reports its anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory activity in rats. Au(CN)2− is generated from the therapeutic gold complexes by small amounts of hydrogen cyanide, HCN, produced from thiocyanate, SCN−, by myeloperoxidase (MPO) an enzyme in neutrophils which normally produces hypochlorite, OCl−. Thus, Au(CN)2− is formed at sites of inflammation where activated neutrophils are present. This includes atherosclerotic lesions as well as inflamed joints. MPO also oxidises Au(CN)2− to Au(III) complexes such as Au(CN)4−.

Au(CN)2− is normally a very stable monovalent gold complex. In a biological context, only low concentrations are ever present at both extracellular and intracellular sites. However, Au(CN)2− produced locally may facilitate the cellular uptake and hence the therapeutic and toxic effects of gold drugs. Au(CN)2− may also be involved in a redox cycle where Au(CN)2− is oxidised to Au(CN)4− which is, in turn, reduced back to Au(CN)2− by endogenous thiols. There are still many questions to be resolved concerning Au(CN)2− including its intrinsic toxicity and the extent to which it may contribute to the overall anti-arthritic activities of the gold-thiolates from which it is formed in vivo.

Keyword Medicinal gold complexes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Wed, 06 Jan 2010, 14:23:23 EST by Elissa Saffery on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences