Lipophilic methylene violet analogues as modulators of mitochondrial function and dysfunction

Sandipan Roy Chowdhury, Omar Khdour, Indrajit Bandyopadhyay, Sidney Hecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In an effort to identify methylene blue analogues having improved antioxidant activity, a series of new methylene violet analogues have been designed and synthesized. The analogues were prepared following a synthetic route that is more efficient than the previously reported methods, both in terms of yield and purity of the final products. The route involves the Smiles rearrangement as one of the crucial steps. Smiles rearrangement of suitably substituted diphenyl sulfide intermediates afforded the corresponding phenothiazine analogues in high yields, which were subsequently converted to the final products. The methylene violet analogues were evaluated for their ability to preserve mitochondrial function in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) lymphocytes. The analogues were shown to be efficient ROS scavengers, and able to protect cultured FRDA lymphocytes from oxidative stress resulting from inhibition of complex I. The analogues also preserved mitochondrial membrane potential and augmented ATP production. The analogues were found to be better antioxidants than the parent compounds methylene blue and methylene violet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5537-5547
Number of pages11
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cytoprotection
  • Friedreich's ataxia
  • Methylene blue
  • Methylene violet
  • Mitochondria
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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