Myochrisin - a Gold Based, Polymeric Anti-Arthritis Agent


Gold complexes with sulfur donor ligands have long been used to treat arthritis. In most cases, polymeric gold(I) complexes are used. Frequently, the exact structure of the compounds is not known. It appears likely that the thiophilic metal ions attack sulfur containing amino acid residues of enzymes (e.g. of collagenase) and thus inhibit their function. Studies confirm an intracellular exchange with the small peptide glutathione. Typical examples are complexes with thiomalic acid, thioglucose or thiopropanolsulfonate.


The structure of the thiomalic acid complex (trade name Myochrisin) was solved recently. It contains infinite spiral chains. Alkali metal ions contribute to their construction. The gold atoms are linearly coordinated.