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Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Sep 1;19(17):5137-46. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.07.020. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Ellipticines and 9-acridinylamines as inhibitors of D-alanine:D-alanine ligase.

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National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


D-Alanine:D-alanine ligase (Ddl), an intracellular bacterial enzyme essential for cell wall biosynthesis, is an attractive target for development of novel antimicrobial drugs. This study focused on an extensive evaluation of two families of Ddl inhibitors encountered in our previous research. New members of both families were obtained through similarity search and synthesis. Ellipticines and 9-acridinylamines were both found to possess inhibitory activity against Ddl from Escherichia coli and antimicrobial activity against E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Ellipticines with a quaternary methylpyridinium moiety were the most potent among all studied compounds, with MIC values as low as 2 mg/L in strains with intact efflux mechanisms. Antimicrobial activity of the studied compounds was connected to membrane damage, making their development as antibacterial drug candidates unlikely unless analogues devoid of this nonspecific effect can be discovered.

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