The in vitro activity of five novel Microbiotix bis-indole agents (MBXs) against 30 multidrug-resistant (MDR) A. baumannii (including 18 resistant to carbapenems) was evaluated. Overall, MIC90s ranged from 1-8 μg/ml, whereas those for imipenem were > 64 μg/ml. MBX 1196 was the most potent (MIC90 1 μg/ml). MBXs are compounds that are highly effective against MDR A. baumannii.
bis-indole; multidrug-resistant; MBX; susceptibility; in vitro
A second-generation series of substituted methylenecyclopropane nucleosides (MCPNs) has been synthesized and evaluated for antiviral activity against a panel of human herpesviruses, and for cytotoxicity. Although alkylated 2,6-diaminopurine analogs showed little antiviral activity, the compounds containing ether and thioether substituents at the 6-position of the purine did demonstrate potent and selective antiviral activity against several different human herpesviruses. In the 6-alkoxy series, antiviral activity depended on the length of the ether carbon chain, with the optimum chain length being about four carbon units long. For the corresponding thioethers, compounds containing secondary thioethers were more potent than those with primary thioethers.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) causes moderate to severe disease, resulting in diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis. CDI is difficult to treat due to production of inflammation-inducing toxins, resistance development, and high probability of recurrence. Only two antibiotics are approved for the treatment of CDI, and the pipeline for therapeutic agents contains few new drugs. MBX-500 is a hybrid antibacterial, composed of an anilinouracil DNA polymerase inhibitor linked to a fluoroquinolone DNA gyrase/topoisomerase inhibitor, with potential as a new therapeutic for CDI treatment. Since MBX-500 inhibits three bacterial targets, it has been previously shown to be minimally susceptible to resistance development. In the present study, the in vitro and in vivo efficacies of MBX-500 were explored against the Gram-positive anaerobe, C. difficile. MBX-500 displayed potency across nearly 50 isolates, including those of the fluoroquinolone-resistant, toxin-overproducing NAP1/027 ribotype, performing as well as comparator antibiotics vancomycin and metronidazole. Furthermore, MBX-500 was a narrow-spectrum agent, displaying poor activity against many other gut anaerobes. MBX-500 was active in acute and recurrent infections in a toxigenic hamster model of CDI, exhibiting full protection against acute infections and prevention of recurrence in 70% of the animals. Hamsters treated with MBX-500 displayed significantly greater weight gain than did those treated with vancomycin. Finally, MBX-500 was efficacious in a murine model of CDI, again demonstrating a fully protective effect and permitting near-normal weight gain in the treated animals. These selective anti-CDI features support the further development of MBX 500 for the treatment of CDI.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most lethal of biological substances, and are categorized as class A biothreat agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are currently no drugs to treat the deadly flaccid paralysis resulting from BoNT intoxication. Among the seven BoNT serotypes, the development of therapeutics to counter BoNT/A is a priority (due to its long half-life in the neuronal cytosol and its ease of production). In this regard, the BoNT/A enzyme light chain (LC) component, a zinc metalloprotease responsible for the intracellular cleavage of synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa, is a desirable target for developing post-BoNT/A intoxication rescue therapeutics. In an earlier study, we reported the high throughput screening of a library containing 70,000 compounds, and uncovered a novel class of benzimidazole acrylonitrile-based BoNT/A LC inhibitors. Herein, we present both structure-activity relationships and a proposed mechanism of action for this novel inhibitor chemotype.
Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A; Benzimidazole acrylonitrile; Structure-activity relationships; Molecular modeling; Time-dependent inhibition
The type II secretion (T2S) system in Gram-negative bacteria is comprised of the Sec and Tat pathways for translocating proteins into the periplasm and an outer membrane secretin for transporting proteins into the extracellular space. To discover Sec/Tat/T2S pathway inhibitors as potential new therapeutics, we used a Pseudomonas aeruginosa bioluminescent reporter strain responsive to SecA depletion and inhibition to screen compound libraries and characterize the hits. The reporter strain placed a luxCDABE operon under regulation of a SecA depletion-responsive up-regulated promoter in a secA deletion background complemented with an ectopic lac-regulated secA copy. Bioluminescence was indirectly proportional to the IPTG concentration and stimulated by azide, a known SecA ATPase inhibitor. A total of 96 compounds (0.1% of 73,000) were detected as primary hits due to stimulation of luminescence with a z-score ≥5. Direct secretion assays of the 9 most potent hits, representing 5 chemical scaffolds, revealed that they do not inhibit SecA-mediated secretion of β-lactamase into the periplasm, but do inhibit T2S-mediated extracellular secretion of elastase with IC50 values from 5 – 25 μM. In addition, 7 of the 9 compounds also inhibited the T2S-mediated extracellular secretion of phospholipases C by P. aeruginosa and of protease activity by Burkholderia pseudomallei.
P. aeruginosa; type II secretion; high throughput screening; inhibitors
Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) UL54 DNA polymerase (pol) mutants with known patterns of resistance to current antivirals ganciclovir (GCV), foscarnet (FOS), and cidofovir (CDV) were tested for cyclopropavir (CPV) susceptibility by a standardized reporter-based yield reduction assay. Exonuclease and A987G (region V) mutations at codons commonly associated with dual GCV-CDV resistance in clinical isolates paradoxically conferred increased CPV susceptibility. Various polymerase catalytic region mutations conferring FOS resistance with variable low-grade GCV and CDV cross-resistance also conferred CPV resistance, with 50% effective concentration (EC50) increases of 3- to 13-fold. CPV EC50 values against several pol mutants were increased about 2-fold by adding UL97 mutation C592G. Propagation of a CMV exonuclease mutant under CPV selected for pol mutations less often than UL97 mutations. In 21 experiments, one instance each of mutations E756D and M844V, which were shown individually to confer 3- to 4-fold increases in CPV EC50, was detected. Unlike GCV and CDV, exonuclease mutations are not a preferred mechanism of CPV resistance, but mutations in and near pol region III may confer CPV resistance by affecting its recognition as an incoming base for DNA polymerization.
Cyclopropavir (CPV) is active against human cytomegalovirus (CMV), as well as both variants of human herpesvirus 6 and human herpesvirus 8. The mechanism of action of CPV against CMV is similar to that of ganciclovir (GCV) in that it is phosphorylated initially by the CMV UL97 kinase, resulting in inhibition of viral DNA synthesis. Resistance to CPV maps to the UL97 kinase but is associated primarily with H520Q mutations and thus retains good antiviral activity against most GCV-resistant isolates. An examination of CMV-infected cultures treated with CPV revealed unusual cell morphology typically associated with the absence of UL97 kinase activity. A surrogate assay for UL97 kinase activity confirmed that CPV inhibited the activity of this enzyme and that its action was similar to the inhibition seen with maribavir (MBV) in this assay. Combination studies using real-time PCR indicated that, like MBV, CPV also antagonized the efficacy of GCV and were consistent with the observed inhibition of the UL97 kinase. Deep sequencing of CPV-resistant laboratory isolates identified a frameshift mutation in UL27, presumably to compensate for a loss of UL97 enzymatic activity. We conclude that the mechanism of action of CPV against CMV is complex and involves both the inhibition of DNA synthesis and the inhibition of the normal activity of the UL97 kinase.
Ebola virus (EBOV) causes severe hemorrhagic fever, for which therapeutic options are not available. Preventing the entry of EBOV into host cells is an attractive antiviral strategy, which has been validated for HIV by the FDA approval of the anti-HIV drug enfuvirtide. To identify inhibitors of EBOV entry, the EBOV envelope glycoprotein (EBOV-GP) gene was used to generate pseudotype viruses for screening of chemical libraries. A benzodiazepine derivative (compound 7) was identified from a high-throughput screen (HTS) of small-molecule compound libraries utilizing the pseudotype virus. Compound 7 was validated as an inhibitor of infectious EBOV and Marburg virus (MARV) in cell-based assays, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of 10 μM and 12 μM, respectively. Time-of-addition and binding studies suggested that compound 7 binds to EBOV-GP at an early stage during EBOV infection. Preliminary Schrödinger SiteMap calculations, using a published EBOV-GP crystal structure in its prefusion conformation, suggested a hydrophobic pocket at or near the GP1 and GP2 interface as a suitable site for compound 7 binding. This prediction was supported by mutational analysis implying that residues Asn69, Leu70, Leu184, Ile185, Leu186, Lys190, and Lys191 are critical for the binding of compound 7 and its analogs with EBOV-GP. We hypothesize that compound 7 binds to this hydrophobic pocket and as a consequence inhibits EBOV infection of cells, but the details of the mechanism remain to be determined. In summary, we have identified a novel series of benzodiazepine compounds that are suitable for optimization as potential inhibitors of filoviral infection.
Among the 7 most common UL97 mutations encountered in ganciclovir-resistant clinical cytomegalovirus isolates, the associated cyclopropavir cross-resistance varies from insignificant (L595S) to substantial (M460I and H520Q) as determined by recombinant phenotyping. Mutations M460I and H520Q were preferentially selected in vitro under cyclopropavir and conferred 12- to 20-fold increases in 50% effective concentration (EC50) values, while M460V, C592G, A594V, and C603W conferred 3- to 5-fold increases. Uncommon mutations M460T and C603R increased cyclopropavir EC50s by 8- to 10-fold.
NSC 240898 was previously identified as a botulinum neurotoxin A light chain (BoNT/A LC) endopeptidase inhibitor by screening the National Cancer Institute Open Repository diversity set. Two types of analogs have been synthesized and shown to inhibit BoNT/A LC in a FRET-based enzyme assay, with confirmation in an HPLC-based assay. These two series of compounds have also been evaluated for inhibition of anthrax lethal factor (LF), an unrelated metalloprotease, to examine enzyme specificity of the BoNT/A LC inhibition. The most potent inhibitor against BoNT/A LC in these two series is compound 12 (IC50 = 2.5 µM, FRET assay), which is 4.4-fold more potent than the lead structure, and 11.2-fold more selective for BoNT/A LC versus the anthrax LF metalloproteinase. Structure-activity relationship studies have revealed structural features important to potency and enzyme specificity.
Botulinum neurotoxin A; small molecule inhibitor; metalloprotease; lethal factor; indole; benzothiophene
Antimicrobial susceptibilities of 233 Gram-positive and 180 Gram-negative strains to two novel bis-indoles were evaluated. Both compounds were potent inhibitors of Gram-positive bacteria, with MIC90 values of 0.004 to 0.5 μg/ml. One bis-indole, MBX 1162, exhibited potent activity against all Gram-negative strains, with MIC90 values of 0.12 to 4 μg/ml, even against high-level-resistant pathogens, and compared favorably to all comparator antibiotics. The bis-indole compounds show promise for the treatment of multidrug-resistant clinical pathogens.
The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a clinically important virulence mechanism in Pseudomonas aeruginosa that secretes and translocates up to four protein toxin effectors into human cells, facilitating the establishment and dissemination of infections. To discover inhibitors of this important virulence mechanism, we developed two cellular reporter assays and applied them to a library of 80,000 compounds. The primary screen was based on the dependence of the transcription of T3SS operons on the T3SS-mediated secretion of a negative regulator and consisted of a transcriptional fusion of the Photorhabdus luminescens luxCDABE operon to the P. aeruginosa exoT effector gene. Secondary assays included direct measurements of the T3SS-mediated secretion of a P. aeruginosa ExoS effector-β-lactamase fusion protein as well as the detection of the secretion of native ExoS by the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis of culture supernatants. Five inhibitors in three chemical classes were demonstrated to inhibit type III secretion selectively with minimal cytotoxicity and with no effects on bacterial growth or on the type II-mediated secretion of elastase. These inhibitors also block the T3SS-mediated secretion of a YopE effector-β-lactamase fusion protein from an attenuated Yersinia pestis strain. The most promising of the inhibitors is a phenoxyacetamide that also blocks the T3SS-mediated translocation of effectors into mammalian cells in culture. Preliminary studies of structure-activity relationships in this phenoxyacetamide series demonstrated a strict requirement for the R-enantiomer at its stereocenter and indicated tolerance for a variety of substituents on one of its two aromatic rings.
The L-Valine ester of antiviral agent cyclopropavir, valcyclopropavir (6), was synthesized and evaluated for antiviral properties. Prodrug (6) inhibited replication of HCMV virus (Towne and AD169 strain) in HFF cells to approximately the same extent as the parent drug cyclopropavir (5). Stability of 6 toward hydrolysis at pH 7.0 roughly corresponds to that of valganciclovir (2). Pharmacokinetic studies in mice established that the oral bioavailability of valcyclopropavir (6) was 95%.
Antibacterial compounds with new mechanisms of action are needed for effective therapy against drug-resistant pathogens in the clinic and in biodefense. Screens for inhibitors of the essential replicative helicases of Bacillus anthracis and Staphylococcus aureus yielded 18 confirmed hits (IC50 ≤ 25 μM). Several (5 of 18) of the inhibitors were also shown to inhibit DNA replication in permeabilized polA-deficient B. anthracis cells. One of the most potent inhibitors also displayed antibacterial activity (MIC ∼5 μg/ml against a range of Gram-positive species including bacilli and staphylococci) together with good selectivity for bacterial vs. mammalian cells (CC50/MIC >16) suitable for further optimization. This compound shares the bicyclic ring of the clinically proven aminocoumarin scaffold, but is not a gyrase inhibitor. It exhibits a mixed mode of helicase inhibition including a component of competitive inhibition with the DNA substrate (Ki = 8 μM) and is rapidly bactericidal at 4× MIC.
S. aureus; B. anthracis; helicase; high throughput screen; aminocoumarin
Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus are the leading causative agents of indwelling medical device infections because of their ability to form biofilms on artificial surfaces. Here we describe the antibiofilm activity of a class of small molecules, the aryl rhodanines, which specifically inhibit biofilm formation of S. aureus, S. epidermidis, Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium, and E. gallinarum but not the gram-negative species Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Escherichia coli. The aryl rhodanines do not exhibit antibacterial activity against any of the bacterial strains tested and are not cytotoxic against HeLa cells. Preliminary mechanism-of-action studies revealed that the aryl rhodanines specifically inhibit the early stages of biofilm development by preventing attachment of the bacteria to surfaces.
BALB/c mice, infected with human metapneumovirus (hMPV), were treated with NMSO3, one dose of 50 mg/kg given at the time of infection. NMSO3 significantly reduced viral replication in the lungs, as well as hMPV-induced body weight loss, pulmonary inflammation and cytokine production, suggesting that antiviral treatment initiated at the beginning of viral infection can modify hMPV-induced disease.
BALB/c mice infected with human metapneumovirus (hMPV) were treated with the sulfated sialyl lipid NMSO3 (one dose of 50 mg kg−1) given at the time of infection. NMSO3 significantly reduced viral replication in the lungs, as well as hMPV-induced body weight loss, pulmonary inflammation and cytokine production, suggesting that antiviral treatment initiated at the beginning of viral infection can modify hMPV-induced disease.
A homogeneous, sensitive, cellular bioluminescent high throughput screen was developed for inhibitors of gyrase and other DNA damaging agents in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The screen is based on a Photorhabdus luminescens luciferase operon transcriptional fusion to a promoter that responds to DNA damage caused by reduced gyrase levels and fluoroquinolone inhibition. This reporter strain is sensitive to levels of ciprofloxacin as low as ¼-MIC with Z’ scores above 0.5, indicating the assay is suitable for high-throughput screening. This screen combines the benefits of a whole cell assay with a sensitivity and target specificity superior to those of traditional cell-based screens for inhibitors of viability or growth. In duplicate pilot screens of 2,000 known bioactive compounds, 13 compounds generated reproducible signals ≥50% of that of the control (ciprofloxacin at ¼-MIC) using bioluminescence readings after 7h of incubation. Ten are fluoroquinolones known to cause accumulation of cleaved DNA-enzyme complexes in bacterial cells; the other three are known to create DNA adducts. Therefore, all 13 hits inhibit DNA synthesis, but by a variety of different DNA damaging mechanisms. This convenient, inexpensive screen will be useful for rapidly identifying DNA gyrase inhibitors and other DNA damaging agents, which may lead to potent new anti-bacterials.
P. aeruginosa; gyrase; high throughput screen; luciferase
The anilinouracils (AUs) such as 6-(3-ethyl-4-methylanilino)uracil (EMAU) are a novel class of gram-positive, selective, bactericidal antibacterials which inhibit pol IIIC, the gram-positive-specific replicative DNA polymerase. We have linked various fluoroquinolones (FQs) to the N-3 position of EMAU to generate a variety of AU-FQ “hybrids” offering the potential for targeting two distinct steps in DNA replication. In this study, the properties of a hybrid, “251D,” were compared with those of representative AUs and FQs in a variety of in vitro assays, including pol IIIC and topoisomerase/gyrase enzyme assays, antibacterial, bactericidal, and mammalian cytotoxicity assays. Compound 251D potently inhibited pol IIIC and topoisomerase/gyrase, displayed gram-positive antibacterial potency at least 15 times that of the corresponding AU compound, and as expected, acted selectively on bacterial DNA synthesis. Compound 251D was active against a broad panel of antibiotic-resistant gram-positive pathogens as well as several gram-negative organisms and was also active against both AU- and FQ-resistant gram-positive organisms, demonstrating its capacity for attacking both of its potential targets in the bacterium. 251D also was bactericidal for gram-positive organisms and lacked toxicity in vitro. Although we obtained strains of Staphylococcus aureus resistant to the individual parent compounds, spontaneous resistance to 251D was not observed. We obtained 251D resistance in multiple-passage experiments, but resistance developed at a pace comparable to those for the parent compounds. This class of AU-FQ hybrids provides a promising new pharmacophore with an unusual dual mechanism of action and potent activity against antibiotic-sensitive and -resistant gram-positive pathogens.
We have previously reported that a pseudotype virus generated by reconstitution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) chimeric envelope glycoprotein E1-G or E2-G on the surface of a temperature-sensitive mutant of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSVts045) interacts independently with mammalian cells to initiate infection. Here, we examined whether coexpression of both of the envelope glycoproteins on pseudotype particles would augment virus infectivity and/or alter the functional properties of the individual subunits. Stable transfectants of baby hamster kidney (BHK) epithelial cells expressing either one or both of the chimeric envelope glycoproteins of HCV on the cell surface were generated. The infectious titer of the VSV pseudotype, derived from a stable cell line incorporating both of the chimeric glycoproteins of HCV, was ∼4- to 5-fold higher than that of a pseudotype bearing E1-G alone or ∼25- to 30-fold higher than that of E2-G alone when assayed with a number of mammalian cell lines. Further studies suggested that that the E1-G/E2-G or E2-G pseudotype was more sensitive to the inhibitory effect of heparin than the E1-G pseudotype. Treatment of the E1-G/E2-G pseudotype with a negatively charged sulfated sialyl lipid (NMSO3) displayed a ∼4-fold-higher sensitivity to neutralization than pseudotypes with either of the two individual glycoproteins. In contrast, VSVts045, used as a backbone for the generation of pseudotypes, displayed at least 20-fold-higher sensitivity to NMSO3-mediated inhibition of virus plaque formation. The effect of low-density lipoprotein on the E1-G pseudotype was greater than that apparent for the E1-G/E2-G pseudotype. The treatment of cells with monoclonal antibodies to CD81 displayed an inhibitory effect upon the pseudotype with E1-G/E2-G or with E2-G alone. Taken together, our results indicate that the HCV E1 and E2 glycoproteins have separable functional properties and that the presence of these two envelope glycoproteins on VSV/HCV pseudotype particles increases infectious titer.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) variants were selected for resistance to the (+) and (−) enantiomers of a novel nucleoside analogue, 2′-deoxy-3′-oxa-4′-thio-5-fluorocytidine (dOTFC), by use of the infectious molecular clone HIV HXB2D and the human T-cell line MT-4. The dOTFC-resistant variants that were selected were 10-fold less sensitive than wild-type virus, and cloning and sequencing of the complete reverse transcriptase (RT)-coding region identified the mutation M184V. Studies with mutated recombinant HXB2D virus confirmed the importance of the M184V mutation in conferring resistance to (−)dOTFC in MT-4 cells, although no difference in sensitivity was observed in primary cells. The M184V substitution also displayed decreased susceptibility to (+)dOTFC. Selection with (+)dOTFC also produced variants which were 10-fold more resistant than the wild type, and a novel mutation, D67G, was identified following cloning and sequencing of the RT genes. The D67G mutation was introduced into HXB2D by site-directed mutagenesis, and the data obtained confirmed the importance of this mutation in conferring resistance to both (+)dOTFC and (−)dOTFC. Mutated recombinant molecular clone HXB2D-D67G was further selected with (+)dOTFC, and three of six clones sequenced contained both the D67G and M184V mutations, while the other three of the six clones contained only the D67G mutation. Clinical isolates of HIV-1 which are (−) 2′-deoxy-3′-thiacytidine-resistant also displayed resistance to both (+)dOTFC and (−)dOTFC.
(−)-β-d-1′,3′-Dioxolane guanosine (DXG) and 2,6-diaminopurine (DAPD) dioxolanyl nucleoside analogues have been reported to be potent inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). We have recently conducted experiments to more fully characterize their in vitro anti-HIV-1 profiles. Antiviral assays performed in cell culture systems determined that DXG had 50% effective concentrations of 0.046 and 0.085 μM when evaluated against HIV-1IIIB in cord blood mononuclear cells and MT-2 cells, respectively. These values indicate that DXG is approximately equipotent to 2′,3′-dideoxy-3′-thiacytidine (3TC) but 5- to 10-fold less potent than 3′-azido-2′,3′-dideoxythymidine (AZT) in the two cell systems tested. At the same time, DAPD was approximately 5- to 20-fold less active than DXG in the anti-HIV-1 assays. When recombinant or clinical variants of HIV-1 were used to assess the efficacy of the purine nucleoside analogues against drug-resistant HIV-1, it was observed that AZT-resistant virus remained sensitive to DXG and DAPD. Virus harboring a mutation(s) which conferred decreased sensitivity to 3TC, 2′,3′-dideoxyinosine, and 2′,3′-dideoxycytidine, such as a 65R, 74V, or 184V mutation in the viral reverse transcriptase (RT), exhibited a two- to fivefold-decreased susceptibility to DXG or DAPD. When nonnucleoside RT inhibitor-resistant and protease inhibitor-resistant viruses were tested, no change in virus sensitivity to DXG or DAPD was observed. In vitro drug combination assays indicated that DXG had synergistic antiviral effects when used in combination with AZT, 3TC, or nevirapine. In cellular toxicity analyses, DXG and DAPD had 50% cytotoxic concentrations of greater than 500 μM when tested in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and a variety of human tumor and normal cell lines. The triphosphate form of DXG competed with the natural nucleotide substrates and acted as a chain terminator of the nascent DNA. These data suggest that DXG triphosphate may be the active intracellular metabolite, consistent with the mechanism by which other nucleoside analogues inhibit HIV-1 replication. Our results suggest that the use of DXG and DAPD as therapeutic agents for HIV-1 infection should be explored.
Botulinum Neurotoxins (BoNTs) are used therapeutically and in cosmetics, providing potential for bioterrorist activity, thus driving the search for small-molecule BoNT inhibitors. This report describes a 70,000-compound screen for inhibition of BoNT/A using a FRET assay to detect proteolysis of a peptide substrate. Hits were confirmed, followed by evaluation to determine compound specificity. Inhibitors fell into three main chemical classes, and on the basis of potency and specificity of inhibition, the activities of two chemotypes were examined further. Compounds exhibited specificity for BoNT/A LC inhibition with respect to other metalloproteases and displayed activity in a neuronal assay for botulinum intoxication.
botulinum; neurotoxins; serotype A; bioterrorism; SNAP-25; high-throughput screening; benzimidazole acrylonitrile; hydroxyquinoline; small molecule inhibitors; drug discovery; metalloprotease