European journal of medicinal chemistry

Enamines as novel antibacterials and their structure-activity relationships.

PMID 18192085


Twenty-six enamines were synthesized to screen for the antimicrobial activity. Out of the compounds, 22 were reported for the first time. Their chemical structures including E/Z-configurations were clearly determined by 1H NMR, ESI mass spectra and elemental analyses, coupled with three selected single-crystal structures. In general, these synthetic compounds were shown to be more effective to inhibit growth of bacteria than fungi. The most active compound, (E)-ethyl 3-(4-hydroxyphenylamino)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)acrylate (1b), showed considerable antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 with MIC of 0.5 microg/mL and against Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC 13525 with MIC of 1.5 microg/mL, which was superior to the positive controls penicillin and kanamycin, respectively. Structure-activity relationship analysis revealed: as for A-ring, the compounds substituted at 3,5-positions were more active than 2,4-position-substituted derivatives, and halo-substituted analogs at 2-position had essentially same activities as the 4-position-substituted derivatives. Increase of steric hindrance around the nitrogen atom led to an inactive compound.