New insights towards 1,4-benzodiazepines from curcumin. Design, synthesis and antimicrobial activities

Othman Hamed, Oswa Fares, Shaima Taleeb, Ghaleb Adwan, Haythem Saadeh, Shehdeh Jodeh, Manuel Algarra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Curcumin is a safe, versatile natural product with unlimited number of biological activities and a precursor for various heterocyclic compounds. Objective: The present study was aimed to the development of a curcumin based antimicrobial reagent with high potency against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Methods: Herein we report a simple and convenient one step method for synthesizing a series of 1,4-benzodiazepines via condensation cyclization reaction between curcumin and various 1,2- phenylenediamine in refluxed ethanol. Results: A series of new 1,4-benzodiazepins were synthesized and their structures were supported by FT-IR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, and mass spectral analysis. Synthesized 1,4-benzodiazepins were evaluated for their in vitro antimicrobial activity against gram positive (S. aureus and S. epidermidis) and gram negative (E. coli and P. aeruginosa) bacteria. They exhibited low to high potency against the tested organisms. In particular, dichlorinated 1,4-benzodiazepine 9 exhibited a remarkable potency against the gram-positive bacteria S. aureus (MIC: 3.125 μg mL−1, MBC: 12 μg mL−1). It showed a higher potency than most of the tested reference drugs. Compound 9 showed the medium activity against E. Coli. Genotoxic study revealed that, benzodiazepines 9 attacked the DNA of E. Coli strains and damaged it. The potency of compound 9, could be attributed to the multiple chlorine atoms present on the aromatic ring. Conclusion: Some of the synthesized curcumin based benzodiazepines showed excellent potency against gram positive bacteria. These benzodiazepines could be a great candidate as a future antimicrobial agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1123
Number of pages12
JournalMedicinal Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Antimicrobial
  • Biological activities
  • Curcumin
  • Diazepine
  • Disc diffusion
  • Genotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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