Inhibition of S. aureus diapophytoene desaturase (CrtN) could serve as an alternative approach for addressing the tricky antibiotic resistance by blocking the biosynthesis of carotenoid pigment which shields the bacterium from host oxidant killing. In this study, we designed and synthesized 44 derivatives with piperonyl scaffold targeting CrtN and the structure-activity relationships (SARs) were examined extensively to bring out the discovery of 21b with potent efficacy and better hERG safety profile compared to the first class CrtN inhibitor benzocycloalkane derivative 2. Except the excellent pigment inhibitory activity against wild-type S. aureus, 21b also showed excellent pigment inhibition against four pigmented MRSA strains. In addition, H2O2 killing and human whole blood killing assays proved 21b could sensitize S. aureus to be killed under oxidative stress conditions. Notably, the murine study in vivo validated the efficacy of 21b against pigmented S. aureus Newman, vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus Mu50 and linezolid-resistant S. aureus NRS271.
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry – Elsevier
Published: Feb 10, 2018
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