• Differential Stability of Cell-Free Circulating microRNAs: Implications for Their Utilization as Biomarkers.

      Köberle, Verena; Pleli, Thomas; Schmithals, Christian; Augusto Alonso, Eduardo; Haupenthal, Jörg; Bönig, Halvard; Peveling-Oberhag, Jan; Biondi, Ricardo M; Zeuzem, Stefan; Kronenberger, Bernd; et al. (2013)
      MicroRNAs circulating in the blood, stabilized by complexation with proteins and/or additionally by encapsulation in lipid vesicles, are currently being evaluated as biomarkers. The consequences of their differential association with lipids/vesicles for their stability and use as biomarkers are largely unexplored and are subject of the present study.
    • Direct antiproliferative effect of nonsteroidal 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 inhibitors in vitro.

      Berényi, Agnes; Frotscher, Martin; Marchais-Oberwinkler, Sandrine; Hartmann, Rolf W; Minorics, Renáta; Ocsovszki, Imre; Falkay, George; Zupkó, István; Department of Pharmacodynamics and Biopharmacy, University of Szeged , Szeged , Hungary. (2013-08)
      Inhibition of the local formation of estrogens seems to be an attractive strategy for pharmacological intervention in hormone-dependent disorders. The direct antiproliferative properties of ten nonsteroidal 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1) inhibitors were investigated on human cancer cell lines of gynecological origin. The mechanism of the antiproliferative action was approximated by cell cycle analysis, fluorescent microscopy, BrdU assay, determination of caspase-3 activity and quantification of the expression of cell cycle regulators at mRNA level. Treatment of HeLa cells with some of the compounds resulted in a concentration-dependent inhibition of the G1-S transition and an increase in the apoptotic population. The most effective agents increased the expression of tumor suppressors p21 and p53, while CDK2 and Rb were down-regulated. The reported anticancer actions of the tested compounds are independent of the 17β-HSD1-inhibiting capacity. These results indicate that it is possible to combine direct antiproliferative activity and 17β-HSD1 inhibition resulting in novel agents with dual mode of action.
    • Directing Drugs to Bugs: Antibiotic-Carbohydrate Conjugates Targeting Biofilm-Associated Lectins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa .

      Meiers, Joscha; Zahorska, Eva; Röhrig, Teresa; Hauck, Dirk; Wagner, Stefanie; Titz, Alexander; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (ACS, 2020-10-02)
      Chronic infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are characterized by biofilm formation, which effectively enhances resistance toward antibiotics. Biofilm-specific antibiotic delivery could locally increase drug concentration to break antimicrobial resistance and reduce the drug's peripheral side effects. Two extracellular P. aeruginosa lectins, LecA and LecB, are essential structural components for biofilm formation and thus render a possible anchor for biofilm-targeted drug delivery. The standard-of-care drug ciprofloxacin suffers from severe systemic side effects and was therefore chosen for this approach. We synthesized several ciprofloxacin-carbohydrate conjugates and established a structure-activity relationship. Conjugation of ciprofloxacin to lectin probes enabled biofilm accumulation in vitro, reduced the antibiotic's cytotoxicity, but also reduced its antibiotic activity against planktonic cells due to a reduced cell permeability and on target activity. This work defines the starting point for new biofilm/lectin-targeted drugs to modulate antibiotic properties and ultimately break antimicrobial resistance.
    • Discovery and Structure-Based Optimization of 2-Ureidothiophene-3-carboxylic Acids as Dual Bacterial RNA Polymerase and Viral Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors.

      Elgaher, Walid A M; Sharma, Kamal K; Haupenthal, Jörg; Saladini, Francesco; Pires, Manuel; Real, Eleonore; Mély, Yves; Hartmann, Rolf W; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-07-07)
      We are concerned with the development of novel anti-infectives with dual antibacterial and antiretroviral activities for MRSA/HIV-1 co-infection. To achieve this goal, we exploited for the first time the mechanistic function similarity between the bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) "switch region" and the viral non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) binding site. Starting from our previously discovered RNAP inhibitors, we managed to develop potent RT inhibitors effective against several resistant HIV-1 strains with maintained or enhanced RNAP inhibitory properties following a structure-based design approach. A quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis revealed distinct molecular features necessary for RT inhibition. Furthermore, mode of action (MoA) studies revealed that these compounds inhibit RT noncompetitively, through a new mechanism via closing of the RT clamp. In addition, the novel RNAP/RT inhibitors are characterized by a potent antibacterial activity against S. aureus and in cellulo antiretroviral activity against NNRTI-resistant strains. In HeLa and HEK 293 cells, the compounds showed only marginal cytotoxicity.
    • Discovery of a Potent Inhibitor Class with High Selectivity toward Clostridial Collagenases.

      Schönauer, Esther; Kany, Andreas M; Haupenthal, Jörg; Hüsecken, Kristina; Hoppe, Isabel J; Voos, Katrin; Yahiaoui, Samir; Elsässer, Brigitta; Ducho, Christian; Brandstetter, Hans; et al. (2017-09-13)
      Secreted virulence factors like bacterial collagenases are conceptually attractive targets for fighting microbial infections. However, previous attempts to develop potent compounds against these metalloproteases failed to achieve selectivity against human matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Using a surface plasmon resonance-based screening complemented with enzyme inhibition assays, we discovered an N-aryl mercaptoacetamide-based inhibitor scaffold that showed sub-micromolar affinities toward collagenase H (ColH) from the human pathogen Clostridium histolyticum. Moreover, these inhibitors also efficiently blocked the homologous bacterial collagenases, ColG from C. histolyticum, ColT from C. tetani, and ColQ1 from the Bacillus cereus strain Q1, while showing negligible activity toward human MMPs-1, -2, -3, -7, -8, and -14. The most active compound displayed a more than 1000-fold selectivity over human MMPs. This selectivity can be rationalized by the crystal structure of ColH with this compound, revealing a distinct non-primed binding mode to the active site. The non-primed binding mode presented here paves the way for the development of selective broad-spectrum bacterial collagenase inhibitors with potential therapeutic application in humans.
    • Discovery of antagonists of PqsR, a key player in 2-alkyl-4-quinolone-dependent quorum sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

      Lu, Cenbin; Kirsch, Benjamin; Zimmer, Christina; de Jong, Johannes C; Henn, Claudia; Maurer, Christine K; Müsken, Mathias; Häussler, Susanne; Steinbach, Anke; Hartmann, Rolf W; et al. (2012-03-23)
      The pqs quorum sensing communication system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa controls virulence factor production and is involved in biofilm formation, therefore playing an important role for pathogenicity. In order to attenuate P. aeruginosa pathogenicity, we followed a ligand-based drug design approach and synthesized a series of compounds targeting PqsR, the receptor of the pqs system. In vitro evaluation using a reporter gene assay in Escherichia coli led to the discovery of the first competitive PqsR antagonists, which are highly potent (K(d,app) of compound 20: 7 nM). These antagonists are able to reduce the production of the virulence factor pyocyanin in P. aeruginosa. Our finding offers insights into the ligand-receptor interaction of PqsR and provides a promising starting point for further drug design.
    • Discovery of new 7-substituted-4-imidazolylmethyl coumarins and 4'-substituted-2-imidazolyl acetophenones open analogues as potent and selective inhibitors of steroid-11β-hydroxylase.

      Stefanachi, Angela; Hanke, Nina; Pisani, Leonardo; Leonetti, Francesco; Nicolotti, Orazio; Catto, Marco; Cellamare, Saverio; Hartmann, Rolf W; Carotti, Angelo; Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), PO Box 15 11 50, D-66041 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2015-01-07)
      Diseases triggered by an abnormally high level of cortisol (hypercortisolism), such as the Cushing's and metabolic syndromes, could be successfully tackled by inhibitors of CYP11B1, a steroidal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the last hydroxylation step of the cortisol biosynthesis. Structural optimization of 7-(benzyloxy)-4-(1H-imidazol-1-ylmethyl)-2H-chromen-2-one 2, a selective aromatase inhibitor, afforded the 4-(1H-imidazol-1-ylmethyl)-7-{[3-(trifluoromethoxy)benzyl]oxy}-2H-chromen-2-one 7, with improved inhibitory potency at human CYP11B1 (IC50 = 5 nM) and an enhanced selectivity over human CYP11B2 (SIB = 25) compared to lead compound 2 (IC50 = 72 nM, SIB = 4.0) and metyrapone (IC50 = 15 nM, SIB = 4.8), a non-selective drug used in the therapy of the Cushing's syndrome. Structure-activity relationship studies allowed the design and optimization of a novel series of potent and selective compounds, that can be regarded as open analogues of 2H-chromen-2-one derivatives. Compound 23, 2-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)-1-(4-{[3(trifluoromethoxy)benzyl]oxy}phenyl) ethanone, was the most interesting inhibitor of the series displaying a high potency at CYP11B1 (IC50 = 15 nM), increased selectivities over CYP11B2 (SIB = 33), CYP19 (SIB = 390) and CYP17 (5% inhibition at 2.5 μM concentration).
    • Discovery of Novel Latency-Associated Nuclear Antigen Inhibitors as Antiviral Agents Against Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus.

      Kirsch, Philine; Jakob, Valentin; Elgaher, Walid A M; Walt, Christine; Oberhausen, Kevin; Schulz, Thomas F; Empting, Martin; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany.;HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-01-24)
      With the aim to develop novel antiviral agents against Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV), we are targeting the latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). This protein plays an important role in viral genome maintenance during latent infection. LANA has the ability to tether the viral genome to the host nucleosomes and, thus, ensures latent persistence of the viral genome in the host cells. By inhibition of the LANA-DNA interaction, we seek to eliminate or reduce the load of the viral DNA in the host. To achieve this goal, we screened our in-house library using a dedicated fluorescence polarization (FP)-based competition assay, which allows for the quantification of LANA-DNA-interaction inhibition by small organic molecules. We successfully identified three different compound classes capable of disrupting this protein-nucleic acid interaction. We characterized these compounds by IC50 dose-response evaluation and confirmed the compound-LANA interaction using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy. Furthermore, two of the three hit scaffolds showed only marginal cytotoxicity in two human cell lines. Finally, we conducted STD-NMR competition experiments with our new hit compounds and a previously described fragment-sized inhibitor. Based on these results, future compound linking approaches could serve as a promising strategy for further optimization studies in order to generate highly potent KSHV inhibitors.
    • Discovery of Small-Molecule Stabilizers of 14-3-3 Protein-Protein Interactions via Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry.

      Hartman, Alwin M; Elgaher, Walid A M; Hertrich, Nathalie; Andrei, Sebastian A; Ottmann, Christian; Hirsch, Anna K H; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-02-28)
      Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) play an important role in numerous biological processes such as cell-cycle regulation and multiple diseases. The family of 14-3-3 proteins is an attractive target as they serve as binding partner to various proteins and are therefore capable of regulating their biological activities. Discovering small-molecule modulators, in particular stabilizers, of such complexes via traditional screening approaches is a challenging task. Herein, we pioneered the first application of dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) to a PPI target, to find modulators of 14-3-3 proteins. Evaluation of the amplified hits from the DCC experiments for their binding affinity via surface plasmon resonance (SPR), revealed that the low-micromolar (KD 15-16 μM) acylhydrazones are 14-3-3/synaptopodin PPI stabilizers. Thus, DCC appears to be ideally suited for the discovery of not only modulators but even the more elusive stabilizers of notoriously challenging PPIs.
    • Discovery of the first small-molecule CsrA-RNA interaction inhibitors using biophysical screening technologies.

      Maurer, Christine K; Fruth, Martina; Empting, Martin; Avrutina, Olga; Hoßmann, Jörn; Nadmid, Suvd; Gorges, Jan; Herrmann, Jennifer; Kazmaier, Uli; Dersch, Petra; et al. (2016-06)
      CsrA is a global post-transcriptional regulator protein affecting mRNA translation and/or stability. Widespread among bacteria, it is essential for their full virulence and thus represents a promising anti-infective drug target. Therefore, we aimed at the discovery of CsrA-RNA interaction inhibitors. Results & methodology: We followed two strategies: a screening of small molecules (A) and an RNA ligand-based approach (B). Using surface plasmon resonance-based binding and fluorescence polarization-based competition assays, (A) yielded seven small-molecule inhibitors, among them MM14 (IC50 of 4 µM). (B) resulted in RNA-based inhibitor GGARNA (IC50 of 113 µM).
    • Drifting of heme-coordinating group in imidazolylmethylxanthones leading to improved selective inhibition of CYP11B1.

      Gobbi, Silvia; Hu, Qingzhong; Zimmer, Christina; Belluti, Federica; Rampa, Angela; Hartmann, Rolf W.; Bisi, Alessandra; HIPS, Helmholtz Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-08-02)
      An abnormal increase in glucocorticoid levels is responsible for pathological disorders affecting different organs and systems, and the selective inhibition of appropriate steroidogenic enzymes represents a validated strategy to restore their physiological levels. In continuing our studies on CYP11B inhibitors, in this paper a small series of 6-substituted 3-imidazolylmethylxanthones was designed and synthesized, according to the data acquired from previously reported series of derivatives and from a purposely-performed docking study. The new compounds proved to be potent inhibitors of CYP11B isoforms, being effective on CYP11B1 in the low nanomolar range and improving selectivity with respect to CYP11B2, compared to previously reported related compounds. These data further confirmed that a suitable mutual arrangement of the imidazolylmethyl pharmacophore and a properly selected substituent on the xanthone core allows a fine tuning of the activity towards the different CYPs and further corroborate the role of the xanthone scaffold as a privileged structure in this field.
    • Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry to Identify Binders of ThiT, an S-Component of the Energy-Coupling Factor Transporter for Thiamine.

      Monjas, Leticia; Swier, Lotteke J Y M; Setyawati, Inda; Slotboom, Dirk J; Hirsch, Anna K H; Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E9.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-10-20)
      We applied dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) to identify ligands of ThiT, the S-component of the energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporter for thiamine in Lactococcus lactis. We used a pre-equilibrated dynamic combinatorial library (DCL) and saturation-transfer difference (STD) NMR spectroscopy to identify ligands of ThiT. This is the first report in which DCC is used for fragment growing to an ill-defined pocket, and one of the first reports for its application with an integral membrane protein as target.
    • Dynamic Proteoids Generated From Dipeptide-Based Monomers.

      Liu, Yun; Stuart, Marc C A; Buhler, Eric; Hirsch, Anna K H; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-05-28)
      Dynamic proteoids are dynamic covalent analogues of proteins which are generated through the reversible polymerization of amino-acid- or peptide-derived monomers. The authors design and prepare a series of dynamic proteoids based on the reversible polycondensation of six types of dipeptide hydrazides bearing different categories of side chains. The polymerization and structures of biodynamers generated by
    • Energy‐Coupling Factor Transporters as Novel Antimicrobial Targets

      Bousis, Spyridon; Diamanti, Eleonora; Slotboom, Dirk J.; Hirsch, Anna K. H.; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-02)
      In an attempt to find new antibiotics, novel ways of interfering with important biological functions should be explored, especially with those which are necessary or even irreplaceable for bacterial survival, growth, and virulence. The purpose of this review is to highlight B‐type vitamin transporters from the energy‐coupling factor (ECF) family, which are not present in humans, as potential antimicrobial targets. In addition, a druggability analysis of an ECF transporter for folic acid and sequence‐conservation studies in seven prominent pathogens revealed new druggable pockets. Evaluation of the presence of de novo biosynthetic routes for the vitamins in question in the seven pathogens confirmed that this target class holds promise for the discovery of antimicrobial drugs with a new mechanism of action, possibly on a broad‐spectrum level.
    • Enhancing glycan stabilityviasite-selective fluorination: modulating substrate orientation by molecular design

      Axer, Alexander; Jumde, Ravindra P.; Adam, Sebastian; Faust, Andreas; Schäfers, Michael; Fobker, Manfred; Koehnke, Jesko; Hirsch, Anna K.H.; Gilmour, Ryan; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Royal Chemistry Society (RCS), 2021-01-28)
      ingle site OH → F substitution at the termini of maltotetraose leads to significantly improved hydrolytic stability towards α-amylase and α-glucosidase relative to the natural compound. To explore the effect of molecular editing, selectively modified oligosaccharides were preparedviaa convergent α-selective strategy. Incubation experiments in purified α-amylase and α-glucosidase, and in human and murine blood serum, provide insight into the influence of fluorine on the hydrolytic stability of these clinically important scaffolds. Enhancements ofca. 1 order of magnitude result from these subtle single point mutations. Modification at the monosaccharide furthest from the probable enzymatic cleavage termini leads to the greatest improvement in stability. In the case of α-amylase, docking studies revealed that retentive C2-fluorination at the reducing end inverts the orientation in which the substrate is bound. A co-crystal structure of human α-amylase revealed maltose units bound at the active-site. In view of the evolving popularity of C(sp3)-F bioisosteres in medicinal chemistry, and the importance of maltodextrins in bacterial imaging, this discovery begins to reconcile the information-rich nature of carbohydrates with their intrinsic hydrolytic vulnerabilities. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020.
    • Evaluation of Bacterial RNA Polymerase Inhibitors in a -Based Wound Infection Model in SKH1 Mice.

      Haupenthal, Jörg; Kautz, Yannik; Elgaher, Walid A M; Pätzold, Linda; Röhrig, Teresa; Laschke, Matthias W; Tschernig, Thomas; Hirsch, Anna K H; Molodtsov, Vadim; Murakami, Katsuhiko S; et al. (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-09-21)
      Chronic wounds infected with pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus represent a worldwide health concern, especially in patients with a compromised immune system. As antimicrobial resistance has become an immense global problem, novel antibiotics are urgently needed. One strategy to overcome this threatening situation is the search for drugs targeting novel binding sites on essential and validated enzymes such as the bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). In this work, we describe the establishment of an in vivo wound infection model based on the pathogen S. aureus and hairless Crl:SKH1-Hrhr (SKH1) mice. The model proved to be a valuable preclinical tool to study selected RNAP inhibitors after topical application. While rifampicin showed a reduction in the loss of body weight induced by the bacteria, an acceleration of wound healing kinetics, and a reduced number of colony forming units in the wound, the ureidothiophene-2-carboxylic acid 1 was inactive under in vivo conditions, probably due to strong plasma protein binding. The cocrystal structure of compound 1 with RNAP, that we hereby also present, will be of great value for applying appropriate structural modifications to further optimize the compound, especially in terms of plasma protein binding.
    • Expanding the Myxochelin Natural Product Family by Nicotinic Acid Containing Congeners.

      Frank, Nicolas A; Széles, Márió; Akone, Sergi H; Rasheed, Sari; Hüttel, Stephan; Frewert, Simon; Hamed, Mostafa M; Herrmann, Jennifer; Schuler, Sören M M; Hirsch, Anna K H; et al. (MDPI, 2021-08-14)
      Myxobacteria represent a viable source of chemically diverse and biologically active secondary metabolites. The myxochelins are a well-studied family of catecholate-type siderophores produced by various myxobacterial strains. Here, we report the discovery, isolation, and structure elucidation of three new myxochelins N1-N3 from the terrestrial myxobacterium Corallococcus sp. MCy9049, featuring an unusual nicotinic acid moiety. Precursor-directed biosynthesis (PDB) experiments and total synthesis were performed in order to confirm structures, improve access to pure compounds for bioactivity testing, and to devise a biosynthesis proposal. The combined evaluation of metabolome and genome data covering myxobacteria supports the notion that the new myxochelin congeners reported here are in fact frequent side products of the known myxochelin A biosynthetic pathway in myxobacteria.
    • Expanding the scaffold for bacterial RNA polymerase inhibitors: design, synthesis and structure–activity relationships of ureido-heterocyclic-carboxylic acids

      Elgaher, Walid A. M.; Fruth, Martina; Groh, Matthias; Haupenthal, Jörg; Hartmann, Rolf W.; Department of Drug Design and Optimization, Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Campus C2.3, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany (2014-01-22)
    • Exploration of ligand binding modes towards the identification of compounds targeting HuR: a combined STD-NMR and Molecular Modelling approach.

      Vasile, Francesca; Della Volpe, Serena; Ambrosio, Francesca Alessandra; Costa, Giosuè; Unver, M Yagiz; Zucal, Chiara; Rossi, Daniela; Martino, Emanuela; Provenzani, Alessandro; Hirsch, Anna K H; et al. (2018-09-13)
      Post-transcriptional processes have been recognised as pivotal in the control of gene expression, and impairments in RNA processing are reported in several pathologies (i.e., cancer and neurodegeneration). Focusing on RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), the involvement of Embryonic Lethal Abnormal Vision (ELAV) or Hu proteins and their complexes with target mRNAs in the aetiology of various dysfunctions, has suggested the great potential of compounds able to interfere with the complex stability as an innovative pharmacological strategy for the treatment of numerous diseases. Here, we present a rational follow-up investigation of the interaction between ELAV isoform HuR and structurally-related compounds (i.e., flavonoids and coumarins), naturally decorated with different functional groups, by means of STD-NMR and Molecular Modelling. Our results represent the foundation for the development of potent and selective ligands able to interfere with ELAV-RNA complexes.
    • Exploring the chemical space of ureidothiophene-2-carboxylic acids as inhibitors of the quorum sensing enzyme PqsD from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

      Sahner, J Henning; Empting, Martin; Kamal, Ahmed; Weidel, Elisabeth; Groh, Matthias; Börger, Carsten; Hartmann, Rolf W; Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Saarland University & Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Department of Drug Design and Optimization, Campus C2 3, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2015-05-26)
      Pseudomonas aeruginosa employs a quorum sensing (QS) communication system that makes use of small diffusible molecules. Among other effects, the QS system coordinates the formation of biofilm which decisively contributes to difficulties in the therapy of Pseudomonas infections. The present work deals with the structure-activity exploration of ureidothiophene-2-carboxylic acids as inhibitors of PqsD, a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of signal molecules in the Pseudomonas QS system. We describe an improvement of the inhibitory activity by successfully combining features from two different PqsD inhibitor classes. Furthermore the functional groups, which are responsible for the inhibitory potency, were identified. Moreover, the inability of the new inhibitors, to prevent signal molecule formation in whole cell assays, is discussed.