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J Antibiot (Tokyo). 2007 Feb;60(2):85-122.

Azalides from azithromycin to new azalide derivatives.

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Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Process Development, PLIVA Research Institute, 10090 Zagreb, Croatia.


Azalides are semi-synthetic macrolides, in which a nitrogen atom is introduced into a macrolactone ring via a Beckmann rearrangement. Starting from erythromycin, oximes, depending on the reaction conditions lactams, or bicyclic-imino-ethers were formed, which were further reduced to aminolactones. The cyclic amine 9a- became the precursor for novel, significantly more active derivatives, especially for 9-dihydro-9-deoxo-9a-methyl-9a-aza-9a-homoerythromycin A with the generic name azithromycin. It showed a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity covering all significant bacteria causing respiratory tract infections. The greatest advantages of azithromycin are its unusual pharmacokinetics (high tissue distribution), metabolic stability and high tolerability. These properties have led in recent years to the widespread use of the azalide scaffold for the synthesis of new compounds with advantageous pharmacokinetics. The azalide scaffold possesses an amino and several hydroxyl groups, which could be substituted or transformed to obtain new compounds. Different derivatives were obtained by substitution on the nitrogen but a large variety of derivatives, such as ethers, esters and carbamates, were made by reactions with various hydroxyl groups. Substitutions on both nitrogen and hydroxyl or two hydroxyl groups yielded new, bridged compounds. The 4''-hydroxy group was oxidized to 4-oxo-, which was transformed via the oxime to 4-amino, or via epoxide to 4''-methylamino compounds. Cleavage of the cladinose sugar and further transformations gave 3-acyl or 3-oxo compounds, which were less active than 14-membered acylides or ketolides. Beckmann rearrangement of some 16-membered macrolide oximes yielded only 17-membered lactams, which were less active than starting macrolides, and could not be reduced to amines. Intramolecular rearrangement of azalide imino-ethers yielded 13-membered azalides. Some new 11a-azalides were obtained after oxidative cleavage of some 16-membered macrolides and additional cyclisation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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