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Organometallic drug development is still in its early stage, but recent studies show that organometallics having iron as the central atom have the possibility of becoming good drug candidates because iron is an important micro-nutrient, and it is compatible with many biological systems, including the human body. Being an eco-friendly Lewis acid, iron can accept the lone pair of electrons from imino(sp2)-nitrogen, and the resultant iron-imine complexes with iron as a central atom have the possibility of interacting with several proteins and enzymes in humans. Iron-imine complexes have demonstrated significant potential with anticancer, bactericidal, fungicidal, and other medicinal activities in recent years. This article systematically discusses major synthetic methods and pharmacological potentials of iron-imine complexes having in vitro activity to significant clinical performance from 2016 to date. In a nutshell, this manuscript offers a simplistic view of iron complexes in medicinal inorganic chemistry: for instance, iron is presented as an "eco-friendly non-toxic" metal (as opposed to platinum) that will lead to non-toxic pharmaceuticals. The abundant literature on iron chelators shows that many iron complexes, particularly if redox-active in cells, can be quite cytotoxic, which can be beneficial for future targeted therapies. While we made every effort to include all the related papers, any omission is purely unintentional.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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International journal of molecular sciences