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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 114-117  

Chalcone derivatives as potential antifungal agents: Synthesis, and antifungal activity

1 Department is Pharmacy, L.B.S. College of Pharmacy, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department is Pharmacy, I.P.S. College of Pharmacy, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication27-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Deepa Gupta
L.B.S. College of Pharmacy, Tilak Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-4040.161507

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Much research has been carried out with the aim to discover the therapeutic values of chalcone derivatives. Chalcones possess wide range of pharmacological activity such as antibacterial, antimalarial, antiprotozoal, antitubercular, anticancer, and antifungal agents etc. The presence of reactive α,β-unsaturated keto group in chalcones is found to be responsible for their biological activity. The rapid developments of resistance to antifungal agents, led to design, and synthesize the new antifungal agents. The derivatives of chalcones were prepared using Claisen-Schmidt condensation scheme with appropriate tetralone and aldehyde derivatives. Ten derivatives were synthesized and were biologically screened for antifungal activity. The newly synthesized derivatives of chalcone showed antifungal activity against fungal species, Microsporum gypseum. The results so obtained were superior or comparable to ketoconazole. It was observed that none of the compounds tested showed positive results for fungi Candida albicans nor against fungi Aspergillus niger. Chalcone derivatives showed inhibitory effect against M. gypseum species of fungus. It was found that among the chalcone derivatives so synthesized, two of them, that is, 4-chloro derivative, and unsubstituted derivative of chalcone showed antifungal activity superior to ketoconazole. Thus, these can be the potential new molecule as antifungal agent.

Keywords: Antifungal activity, Claisen-Schmidt reaction, dermatophytes, Microsporum gypseum, tetralone

How to cite this article:
Gupta D, Jain D K. Chalcone derivatives as potential antifungal agents: Synthesis, and antifungal activity. J Adv Pharm Technol Res 2015;6:114-7

How to cite this URL:
Gupta D, Jain D K. Chalcone derivatives as potential antifungal agents: Synthesis, and antifungal activity. J Adv Pharm Technol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 May 28];6:114-7. Available from: https://www.japtr.org/text.asp?2015/6/3/114/161507

  Introduction Top

Fungal infections have emerged as a growing threat to human health. There are many reasons behind this, but two important reasons for this are the increasing number of HIV infected patients and the number of patients being treated with cancer chemotherapy drugs. [1] This has led to search for novel molecular targets for new antifungal drugs. There have been many new antifungal drugs that have come up in the last 5 years, but still some patients remain difficult to treat. [2] There are many reasons behind and main reason for this includes intrinsic or acquired antifungal resistance. Furthermore, many of the newly developed antifungal agents lead to serious side effects. Hence, there is a continuous need for new antifungal drugs, which may selectively attack the fungi without inhibiting any biochemical system of the host. [1],[3]

Chalcones, or 1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones, which are polyhydroxylated in the aryl rings [4],[5] are said to possess many biological properties, [6] including antiinflammatory, [7],[8] antimicrobial, [7],[8] antifungal, [7],[8] antioxidant, [7],[8] and antitumor activities. [7],[8] The antimicrobial property of chalcones is due to the presence of a reactive unsaturated keto function in the molecule [9] while antifungal properties are present in some phenolic synthetic chalcones. [4],[10],[11] Chalcones inhibit β(1,3)-glucan and chitin synthases, enzymes, that catalyze the biosynthesis of β(1,3)-glucan and chitin polymers of the fungal cell wall, respectively. [12],[13]

Hence, chalcones and their derivatives may be the potential candidate to investigate as a safe antifungal agent, as these may not affect the host. A series of chalcone derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for antifungal activity against fungal species: Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, and Microsporum gypseum.

  Materials and methods Top

Reagents, starting materials and solvents were purchased from common commercial suppliers. The melting point of synthesized compounds was determined by open capillary method on a Veego digital melting point apparatus. Mass spectral analysis was carried out using Applied Biosystem Qtrap 3200 MS/MS system in ESI mode. The infrared spectra of the synthesized compounds were recorded on Fourier Transformer Infrared Spectrophotometer Model Schimadzu 8400S using potassium bromide pellets. 1 H NMR spectra were recorded on the Bruker NMR using DMSO-d6, tetramethylsilane as an internal standard.


General procedure for synthesis of 2-arylidene-3 , 4-dihydronaphthalen-1(2H)-ones (3a-3j)

A mixture of NaOH (2.2 g, 0.055 mol), water (20 ml), ethanol (12.25 ml), 1-tetralone (0.043 mol), and the appropriate aldehyde derivative (0.043 mol) was stirred at 15-30°C for 48 h and kept in the refrigerator overnight. It was then filtered, washed with water, then washed with the least amount of ethanol, dried, refluxed with glacial acetic acid (15 ml) for 3 h. The crystals separated after cooling were filtered and washed with water. It was then recrystallized from absolute ethanol.

2-benzylidene-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1(2H)-one (3a)

Seventy-four percent yield - MP = 94-96°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1661 (C = O), 1605 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d7.68 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 7.30-7.14

(m, 5H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.39 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]), MS-API: [M + H] + 234.00 (calculated 234.10) Anal. Calculated for C 17 H 14 O: C, 87.15; H, 6.02; O, 6.83; Found: C, 87.40; H, 6.20; O, 6.70.

2-(2-chlorobenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1(2H)-one (3b)

Seventy-nine percent yield - MP = 212-214°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1663 (C = O),1605 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d7.62 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.25 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 7.21-7.07

(m, 4H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.45 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]), MS-API: [M + H] + 268.10 (calculated 268.07) Anal. Calculated for C 17 H 13 ClO: C, 75.98; H, 4.88; Cl, 13.19; O, 5.95; Found: C, 76.40; H, 5.10; Cl, 13.10; O, 6.50.

2-(3-chlorobenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3c)

Eight-two percent yield - MP = 209-211°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1664 (C = O), 1603 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d7.67(s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.27 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 7.31-7.14

(m, 4H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.39 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]), MS-API: [M + H] + 268.00 (calculated 268.07) Anal. Calculated for C 17 H 13 ClO: C, 75.98; H, 4.88; Cl, 13.19; O, 5.95; Found: C, 76.10; H, 5.30; Cl, 13.00; O, 6.20.

2-(4-chlorobenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3d)

Seventy-two percent yield - MP = 210-212°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1668 (C = O), 1593 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d7.63 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 7.25-7.21

(m, 4H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.59 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]) MS-API: [M + H] + 268.00 (calculated 268.07) Anal. Calculated for C 17 H 13 ClO: C, 75.98; H, 4.88; Cl, 13.19; O, 5.95; Found: C, 76.00; H, 5.00; Cl, 13.00; O, 6.00.

2-(4-bromobenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3e)

Seventy-five percent yield - MP = 242-244°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1666 (C = O), 1593 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d7.64 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 7.35-7.18 (m, 4H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.39 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]). MS-API: [M + H] + 313.00 (calculated 312.01) Anal. Calculated for C 17 H 13 BrO: C, 65.19; H, 4.18; Br, 25.51; O, 5.11; Found: C, 65.40; H, 4.30; Br, 26.00; O, 5.10.

2-(4-fluorobenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3f)

Seventy-three percent yield - MP = 183-185°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1663 (C = O), 1605 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 ,

400 MHz): d7.62 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 7.27-6.93 (m, 4H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.29 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]). MS-API: [M + H] + 252.00 (calculated 252.10) Anal. Calculated for C 17 H 13 FO: C, 80.93; H, 5.19; F, 7.53; O, 6.34; Found: C, 81.00; H, 5.30; F, 7.00; O, 6.10.

2-(4-methoxybenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3 g)

Seventy-two percent yield - MP = 215-217°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1666 (C = O), 1601 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d,7.62 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 7.2-6.93 (m, 4H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.29 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]), 3.75

(s, 3H, [CH 3 ]). MS-API: [M + H] + 264.10 (calculated 264.12) Anal. Calculated for C 18 H 16 O 2 : C, 81.79; H, 6.10; O, 12.11; Found: C, 81.40; H, 6.30; O, 12.50.

2-(2,4-dichlorobenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3 h)

Seventy-eight percent yield - MP = 254-256°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1672 (C = O), 1614 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 ,

400 MHz): d7.82 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]),

7.23-7.10 (m, 3H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.29 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]). MS-API: [M + H] + 303.00 (calculated 302.03) Anal. Calculated for C 17 H 12 Cl 2 O: C, 67.35; H, 3.99; Cl, 23.39; O, 5.28; Found: C, 67.40; H, 4.10; Cl, 23.50; O, 5.70.

2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3i)

Seventy-seven percent yield - MP = 261263°C, IR (KBr) n/cm: 1672 (C = O), 1614 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d7.62 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 6.71-6.63

(m, 3H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.29 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]), 3.72 (m, 3H, CH 3 ), 3.73 (m, 3H, CH 3 ). MS-API: [M + H] + 294.10 (calculated 294.13) Anal. Calculated for C 19 H 18 O 3 : C, 77.53; H, 6.16; O, 16.31; Found: C, 77.40; H, 6.20; O, 16.70.

2-(3, 4, 5-trimethoxybenzylidene)-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-one (3j)

Sixty-eight percent yield - MP = 306-308°C, IR (KBr)

n/cm: 1660 (C = O), 1589 (C = C). 1 H NMR (DMSO-d 6 , 400 MHz): d7.62 (s, 1H, [CH]), 7.76-7.29 (m, 4H, [Ar-H]), 6.28 (m, 2H, [Ar 1 -H]), 2.29 (m, 4H, [CH 2 ]), 3.72 (m, 3H, CH 3 ), 3.73 (m, 3H, CH 3 ), 3.75 (m, 3H, CH 3 ). MS-API: [M + H] + 324.20 (calculated 324.14) Anal. Calculated for C 20 H 20 O 4: C, 74.06; H, 6.21; O, 19.73; Found: C, 74.11; H, 6.24; O, 19.78.

Antifungal activity

The antifungal activity of chalcones was evaluated by the cup-plate method [4] against 3 fungal species: C. albicans ATCC 10231, A. niger ATCC 1015, and M. gypseum C 115 2000, dermatophyte fungal species. [4] Stock solutions of synthesized compounds were prepared in DMSO. Aliquots of the stock solution were used to prepare series of subsequent concentration. The lowest concentration that produces no visible fungal growth after the incubation time is termed as minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). [4] Control experiments were performed under similar conditions without the synthesized compounds. Ketoconazole was used as a standard for antifungal activity.

  Results and discussion Top


The synthesis of 2-arylidene -3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1 (2H)-ones (3a-3j) was carried out by Claisen-Schmidt condensation of the appropriate aldehyde derivatives and tetralone in the presence of a base (NaOH), according to the reported procedure [Scheme 1 [Additional file 1]]. [4]

The purity of the compounds was checked by TLC-using Silicagel-G (Merck).Their structures were established with IR, NMR and mass spectrometry analysis.

Antifungal activity

Antifungal activity was carried out by using cup-plate method. [4] The synthesized compounds have no activity against C. albicans and A. niger. Significant antifungal activity was shown by the synthesized compounds against M. gypseum, a dermatophyte. Compounds 3a and 3d showed strong antifungal activities and were superior to ketoconazole [Table 1] and [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Antifungal activity of chalcone derivatives. Ket*: Ketoconazole used as standard, MIC: Minimum inhibitory concentration in (μg/ml)

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Table 1: Antifungal activity of chalcones

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Dermatophytes are a group of fungi, which normally infect the keratinized areas of the body and causes Dermatomycoses, which is difficult to eradicate. The synthesized chalcone derivatives showed activity against dermatophytes, and thus are a potential candidate to treat dermatomycoses.

Structure activity relationship

On studying the effect of the substituents on the activity, an interesting structure-activity relationship can be seen. An electron withdrawing group, that is, Cl group when placed in the para position as in the synthesized compound 3d, showed MIC better than ketoconazole indicating better potency than ketoconazole. The presence of Cl group at ortho position as in the synthesized compound 3b has comparable potency as the compound with Br group at the para position as in the synthesized compound 3e as their MIC were found to be comparable. The presence of OCH 3 group as in the synthesized compound 3i and 3j showed a decrease in potency. On considering the relationship of the antifungal activity of substituted chalcone derivatives with the planarity of their molecules, it was observed that as substituent increased, that is, it turned into a bulky group activity of the compound was observed to be lower as compared with the nonsubstituted chalcone.

This shows that the steric hindrance may reduce the activity.

  Conclusion Top

In conclusion, a novel series of 2-arylidene-3, 4-dihydronaphthalen-1(2H)-ones was successfully synthesized and tested for antifungal activity against three fungal strains. The results of the biological studies revealed that among the three fungal strains, M. gypseum was found to be more sensitive to the studied 2-arylidene-3,4-dihydronaphthalen-1(2H)-ones. Infact, two (3a, 3d) among the 10 compounds tested were more effective than the clinical candidate ketoconazole. M. gypseum is a type of fungi which causes dermatomycoses, a type of infection difficult to treat, hence, the studied compounds, specifically, 3a, 3d could be promising lead molecules for development of more potent and safer antifungal drugs for the treatment of dermatomycoses.


The authors would like to express thanks to Dr. Rekha Gupta, Head of the Department, Biotechnology, Modern College Pune, for cooperation in biological screening of the synthesized compounds. They are also grateful to Shri Subhash Gupta, Oasis Test House Ltd., Jaipur, for screening of compounds for IR studies, and to the authorities at Punjab University, Chandigarh, for their kind cooperation for NMR studies.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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Dhar DN. The Chemistry of Chalcones and Related Compounds. New York: John Wiley; 1981.  Back to cited text no. 5
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  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]

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25 Thermal study of chalcones
Marcelo Kobelnik,Leonardo Miziara Barboza Ferreira,Luis Octavio Regasini,Luiz Antonio Dutra,Vanderlan da Silva Bolzani,Clóvis Augusto Ribeiro
Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. 2018;
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26 Optical properties and antiangiogenic activity of a chalcone derivate
Susy Ricardo Lemes,Luizmar Adriano Júnior,Diego da Silva Manoel,Maria Alice Montes de Sousa,Ruben Dario Fonseca,Rosa Silva Lima,Caridad Noda-Perez,Paulo Roberto de Melo Reis,Clever Gomes Cardoso,Elisângela de Paula Silveira-Lacerda,Marcio Adriano Rodrigues Souza,Cleber Renato Mendonça,Pablo José Gonçalves,Leonardo de Boni,Tertius Lima da Fonseca,Nelson Jorge da Silva Junior
Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy. 2018; 204: 685
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27 Presence of antigenotoxic and anticytotoxic effects of the chalcone 1E,4E-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-5-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexen-1-yl)penta-1,4-dien-3-one using in vitro and in vivo assays
Susy Ricardo Lemes,Carolina Ribeiro eSilva,Jefferson Holanda Véras,Lee Chen-Chen,Rosa Silva Lima,Caridad Noda Perez,Maria Alice Montes de Sousa,Paulo Roberto de Melo Reis,Nelson Jorge da Silva Junior
Drug and Chemical Toxicology. 2018; : 1
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28 Synthesis, characterization and anti-bacterial activity of newly synthesized coumarin and chalcone compounds consisting AZO (N=N) linkage
International Journal of pharma and Bio Sciences. 2018; 9(4)
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29 Halo-Substituted Chalcones and Azachalcones Inhibited Lipopolysaccharited-Stimulated Pro-Inflammatory Responses through the TLR4-Mediated Pathway
Tzenge-Lien Shih,Ming-Hwa Liu,Chia-Wai Li,Chia-Feng Kuo
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30 Structural studies of (E)-2-(benzylidene)-1-tetralone derivatives: crystal structures and Hirshfeld surface analysis
Thomas C. Baddeley,Ligia R. Gomes,John N. Low,Alan B. Turner,James L. Wardell,Graeme J. R. Watson
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31 New chalcones and thiopyrimidine analogues derived from mefenamic acid: microwave-assisted synthesis, anti-HIV activity and cytotoxicity as antileukemic agents
Hanan A. Al-Hazam,Zeki A. Al-Shamkani,Najim A. Al-Masoudi,Bahjat A. Saeed,Christophe Pannecouque
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32 Caffeic acid and licochalcone A interfere with the glyoxylate cycle of Trichophyton rubrum
Bruna Aline Michelotto Cantelli,Tamires Aparecida Bitencourt,Tatiana Takahasi Komoto,Rene Oliveira Beleboni,Mozart Marins,Ana Lúcia Fachin
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33 Pharmacokinetic Studies of Oxathio-Heterocycle Fused Chalcones
Krystyna Okoniewska,Marek T. Konieczny,Krzysztof Lemke,Tomasz Grabowski
European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. 2016;
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34 Antimicrobial effects of Piper hispidum extract, fractions and chalcones against Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus
G.M. Costa,E.H. Endo,D.A.G. Cortez,T.U. Nakamura,C.V. Nakamura,B.P. Dias Filho
Journal de Mycologie Médicale / Journal of Medical Mycology. 2016;
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35 Synthesis and Evaluation of Novel Oxyalkylated Derivatives of 2',4'-Dihydroxychalcone as Anti-Oomycete Agents against Bronopol Resistant Strains of Saprolegnia sp.
Susana Flores,Iván Montenegro,Joan Villena,Mauricio Cuellar,Enrique Werner,Patricio Godoy,Alejandro Madrid
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36 Coumarin–chalcone hybrids: promising agents with diverse pharmacological properties
Han Wei,Jinlan Ruan,Xiaojian Zhang
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