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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Dec 26;129(51):15830-8. Epub 2007 Dec 1.

Structural and initial biological analysis of synthetic arylomycin A2.

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Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California, 92037, USA.


The growing threat of untreatable bacterial infections has refocused efforts to identify new antibiotics, especially those acting by novel mechanisms. While the inhibition of pathogen proteases has proven to be a successful strategy for drug development, such inhibitors are often limited by toxicity due to their promiscuous inhibition of homologous and mechanistically related human enzymes. Unlike many protease inhibitors, inhibitors of the essential type I bacterial signal peptidase (SPase) may be more specific and thus less toxic due to the enzyme's unique structure and catalytic mechanism. Recently, the arylomycins and related lipoglycopeptide natural products were isolated and shown to inhibit SPase. The core structure of the arylomycins and lipoglycopeptides consists of a biaryl-linked, N-methylated peptide macrocycle attached to a lipopeptide tail, and in the case of the lipoglycopeptides, a deoxymannose moiety. Herein, we report the first total synthesis of a member of this group of antibiotics, arylomycin A2. The synthesis relies on Suzuki-Miyaura-mediated biaryl coupling, which model studies suggested would be more efficient than a lactamization-based route. Biological studies demonstrate that these compounds are promising antibiotics, especially against Gram-positive pathogens, with activity against S. epidermidis that equals that of the currently prescribed antibiotics. Structural and biological studies suggest that both N-methylation and lipidation may contribute to antibiotic activity, whereas glycosylation appears to be generally less critical. Thus, these studies help identify the determinants of the biological activity of arylomycin A2 and should aid in the design of analogs to further explore and develop this novel class of antibiotic.

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