Hydroxypyridinone Derivatives: A Fascinating Class of Chelators with Therapeutic Applications - An Update

Curr Med Chem. 2018;25(1):97-112. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170330092304.


Hydroxypyridinones (HPs) are a family of N-heterocyclic metal chelators, which have been an attractive target in the development of a variety of new pharmaceutical drugs, due to their high metal chelating efficacy/specificity and easy derivatization to tune the desired biological properties. In fact, along the last decades, hydroxypyridinone derivatives, but mostly 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone (3,4-HP), have been intensively used in drug design, following either a multitarget approach, in which one chelating unity is extrafunctionalized (hybridized) to enable the interaction with other important specific biological sites, or a polydenticity approach, in which more than one chelating moiety is conveniently attached to one scaffold, to increase the metal chelating efficacy. This review represents an update of the most recent publications (2014-2016) in mono-HP hybrids, namely as potential anti-Alzheimer's drugs, inhibitors of metalloenzymes and anti-microbials, and also polychelating compounds (poly- HP), in view of potential application, such as anti-microbial/biostatic agents, luminescent biosensors or diagnostic agents.

Keywords: 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinones; Hydroxypyridinones; anti-neurodegeneratives; bioinorganic medicinal chemistry; iron chelators.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Chelating Agents / chemistry
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Metalloproteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Metalloproteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Structure
  • Pyridones / chemistry
  • Pyridones / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Chelating Agents
  • Metalloproteins
  • Pyridones