2-Mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) complexes of Ag(I) and Au(III) were synthesized by wet chemical method. The structural, optical, 1HNMR, ICP – MS and electrochemical studies of the complexes were carried out. The TUNEL assay studies of Ag(I)MBT and Au(III)MBT complexes on A549 cell line indicated induced apoptosis in the cells. TUNEL assay showed 60% cell viability for Ag(I)MBT whereas 80% for Au(III)MBT. Thus Ag(I)MBT can induce cell apoptosis in cells at a higher rate than Au(III)MBT. Therefore these complexes studied here can be a viable option as anti – proliferating agent. © 2019, The Author(s).