The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy

Characterization of 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin as an effective antitubercular agent: structure-activity relationships.

PMID 21917615


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the antitubercular activity of amino and acyl amino derivatives of coumarins when used alone and in combination with isoniazid, rifampicin, streptomycin or ethambutol, and to decipher the mode of action of the most effective agent. A series of amino and acyl amino coumarins were synthesized and screened for activity against the Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv strain. These compounds were further evaluated by standard assay procedures to determine their MBCs, fractional inhibitory concentration index values and cytotoxicities. The MICs for a susceptible and a multidrug-resistant clinical isolate of M. tuberculosis were also determined. Electron and fluorescence microscopy of the test compound-treated mycobacterial samples were also carried out in an attempt to find out the target of action. 7-Amino-4-methylcoumarin (7-amino-4-methyl-2H-chromen-2-one; NA5) displayed the lowest MIC of 1 mg/L against not only H37Rv but also the susceptible as well as the multidrug-resistant clinical isolates. Certain acyl amino coumarins were also found to inhibit the aforementioned strains and isolates with MICs in the range of 1.0-3.5 mg/L. They were also found to act in synergy with isoniazid/rifampicin. Electron microscopy revealed the cell-wall-attacking characteristic of these compounds, while fluorescence microscopy indicated that mycolic acid might be the target of action. The present study clearly demonstrated the in vitro antitubercular potential of the novel drug candidate NA5. Further studies are warranted to establish the in vivo efficacy and therapeutic potential of NA5.