The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy

Activity of the type I signal peptidase inhibitor MD3 against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria alone and in combination with colistin.

PMID 25134721


Effective treatment of Gram-negative bacterial infections is increasingly challenging due to the spread of multidrug-resistant strains and a lack of new antimicrobials in development. Bacterial type I signal peptidases (SPases) represent a highly conserved and essential target for inhibition by novel compounds. SPases are required for the effective processing of membrane translocated proteins involved in core functions related to metabolism, virulence and resistance. In this study we assessed the biochemical and functional activity of a novel synthetic inhibitor (MD3) of SPases against a wide range of Gram-negative pathogens. The activity and specificity of MD3 for recombinant Pseudomonas aeruginosa SPase (LepB) and a genetically engineered LepB-regulatable strain were investigated. Antimicrobial activity of the compound alone and in combination with outer membrane-permeabilizing agents (sodium hexametaphosphate, colistin) was also determined against a collection of P. aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia isolates. MD3 was found to inactivate the P. aeruginosa LepB protein (IC50 10 μM), resulting in antimicrobial effects potentiated in the presence of colistin. MD3 also demonstrated potent activity against wild-type and multidrug-resistant strains of A. baumannii and S. maltophilia with MICs ranging from 0.5 to 14 mg/L in the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of colistin. MD3 is a novel inhibitor of bacterial SPase in a range of non-fermentative Gram-negative bacteria. The antimicrobial activity is potentiated in combination with colistin and suggests that SPase inhibition warrants further exploration as a basis for future mono or combination therapies.

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Polymyxin B nonapeptide hydrochloride, cationic cyclic peptide
C43H74N14O11 · xHCl