• Biophysical Screening of a Focused Library for the Discovery of CYP121 Inhibitors as Novel Antimycobacterials.

      Brengel, Christian; Thomann, Andreas; Schifrin, Alexander; Allegretta, Giuseppe; Kamal, Ahmed A M; Haupenthal, Jörg; Schnorr, Isabell; Cho, Sang Hyun; Franzblau, Scott G; Empting, Martin; et al. (2017-10-09)
      The development of novel antimycobacterial agents against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is urgently required due to the appearance of multidrug resistance (MDR) combined with complicated long-term treatment. CYP121 was shown to be a promising novel target for inhibition of mycobacterial growth. In this study, we describe the rational discovery of new CYP121 inhibitors by a systematic screening based on biophysical and microbiological methods. The best hits originating from only one structural class gave initial information about molecular motifs required for binding and activity. The initial screening procedure was followed by mode-of-action studies and further biological characterizations. The results demonstrate superior antimycobacterial efficacy and a decreased toxicity profile of our frontrunner compound relative to the reference compound econazole. Due to its low molecular weight, promising biological profile, and physicochemical properties, this compound is an excellent starting point for further rational optimization.
    • Structure-functionality relationship and pharmacological profiles of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alkylquinolone quorum sensing modulators.

      Kamal, Ahmed A M; Petrera, Lucia; Eberhard, Jens; Hartmann, Rolf W.; Helmholtz-Institu für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland,, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-05-31)
      An important paradigm in anti-infective research is the antivirulence concept. Pathoblockers are compounds which disarm bacteria of their arsenal of virulence factors. PqsR is a transcriptional regulator controlling the production of such factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, most prominently pyocyanin. In this work, a series of tool compounds based on the structure of the natural ligand 2-heptyl-4-quinolone (HHQ) were used for probing the structure-functionality relationship. Four different profiles are identified namely agonists, antagonists, inverse agonists and biphasic modulators. Molecular docking studies revealed that each class of the PqsR modulators showed distinctive interactions in the PqsR binding domain. It was found that the substituents in position 3 of the quinolone core act as a switch between the different profiles, according to their ability to donate or accept a hydrogen bond, or form a hydrophobic interaction. Finally, it was shown that only inverse agonists were able to strongly inhibit pyocyanin production.