In silico and biological activity evaluation of quercetin-boron hybrid compounds, anti-quorum sensing effect as alternative potential against microbial resistance

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2023 May:77:127139. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2023.127139. Epub 2023 Feb 10.


Boronic acid compounds and the natural flavonoid compound quercetin were handled to synthesize two novel ligands encoded as B1(2,2'-(1,4-phenylenebis (benzo [1,3,2] dioxaborole-2,5-diyl)) bis (3,5,7-trihydroxy-4H- chromen-4-one) and B2(3.3.6. 3,5,7-trihydroxy-2-(2-(6-methoxypyridin-3-yl)benzo[d][1,3,2]dioxaborol-5-yl)- 4 H-chromene-4). Antioxidant activities of ligands were investigated by DPPH, ABTS and CUPRAC methods. Cholinesterase inhibition effects of ligands were determined by acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase enzyme inhibition methods, cytotoxic effects of ligands were applied to healthy breast and colon cancer cell lines by MTT method, and urease and tyrosinase enzyme activities were determined. Antimicrobial properties of the compounds were analyzed by detecting their anti-QS potentials on Chromobacterium violaceum biosensor strain. Both compounds were found to have significant antioxidant effects compared to controls. It was determined that the compound B1 at 1-10 µg/mL was more active than the reference compounds (α-TOC and BHT). Moreover, the enzyme activity studies on ligands demonstrated that acetylchoinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase enzyme inhibitions were higher than the reference compounds. As expected, boron derivatives exhibited respectable activity against the biofilms of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and P. aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). These results demonstrate the potential applicability of boron derivatives in the treatment of biofilm-associated infections and provide a practical strategy for the design of new boron-based antimicrobial materials. In silico molecular docking studies were performed on ligands to identify newly synthesized compounds. The binding parameter values and binding sites of the compounds were also determined. In conclusion, our studies showed that newly synthesized hybrid compounds could be solutions for antimicrobial resistance and enzyme-related disorders.

Keywords: Anti-quorum sensing, QS, MTT method, Molecular Docking Studies; Antibacterial; Antioxidant; Boron; Chromobacterium violaceum; Quercetin.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Biofilms
  • Boron / pharmacology
  • Butyrylcholinesterase*
  • Escherichia coli
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Quercetin* / pharmacology


  • Quercetin
  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Boron
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents