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Eur J Med Chem. 2011 Nov;46(11):5227-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2011.08.049. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitors as potential antibiotics.

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Rega Institute for Medical Research, Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Minderbroedersstraat 10, BE-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Increasing resistance to antibiotics is a major problem worldwide and provides the stimulus for development of new bacterial inhibitors with preferably different modes of action. In search for new leads, several new bacterial targets are being exploited beside the use of traditional screening methods. Hereto, inhibition of bacterial protein synthesis is a long-standing validated target. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) play an indispensable role in protein synthesis and their structures proved quite conserved in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. However, some divergence has occurred allowing the development of selective aaRS inhibitors. Following an outline on the action mechanism of aaRSs, an overview will be given of already existing aaRS inhibitors, which are largely based on mimics of the aminoacyl-adenylates, the natural reaction intermediates. This is followed by a discussion on more recent developments in the field and the bioavailability problem.

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