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Special Issue "Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Seung Seo Lee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lecturer in Chemical Biology, School of Chemistry, University of Southampton, UK
Tel. +44-(0)2380-592987; Fax: +44-(0)2380-595159
Interests: glycosyltransferase, glysosidase, CAZy enzymes, enzymology, biocatalysts, carbohydrate chemistry, antimicrobial resistance, two component system, enzyme inhibitors, fluorinated carbohydrate, deubiquitinase inhibitor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A recent review of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), known as the O’Neill report, predicts deaths attributable to AMR will reach 10 million per year by 2050. Many hundreds of deaths have been caused by ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species). These pathogens have further evolved to multidrug-resistant (MDR), Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), for which currently no treatment options exist. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop new therapeutics against these deadly MDR pathogens using novel mechanisms of action. This Special Issue compiles research in the field of chemical biology to tackle this global problem that may lead to unprecedented catastrophes. The scope of these efforts includes molecular probes to study the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic action, novel diagnostic methods and antibiotic molecules with new modes of action, and novel antibiotic strategies and targets. Manuscripts containing original research in the broad area of chemical biology are invited. I expect that this Special Issue will provide a valuable and unique insight into the urgent issue of antimicrobial resistance.

Dr. Seung Seo Lee
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Resistance mechanism
  • Antibiotics
  • Diagnostics
  • New mode of action
  • Antibiotic target
  • Structure–activity relationship
  • Molecular probe

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Docking Studies, and In Vitro Evaluation of Some Novel Thienopyridines and Fused Thienopyridine–Quinolines as Antibacterial Agents and DNA Gyrase Inhibitors
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3650; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203650 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
A series of novel thienopyridines and pyridothienoquinolines (3a,b–14) was synthesized, starting with 2-thioxo-1,2-dihydropyridine-3-carbonitriles 1a and 1b. All compounds were evaluated for their in vitro antimicrobial activity against six bacterial strains. Compounds 3a,b, 4a, 5b, 6a,b, 7a, 9b, 12b, and 14 [...] Read more.
A series of novel thienopyridines and pyridothienoquinolines (3a,b–14) was synthesized, starting with 2-thioxo-1,2-dihydropyridine-3-carbonitriles 1a and 1b. All compounds were evaluated for their in vitro antimicrobial activity against six bacterial strains. Compounds 3a,b, 4a, 5b, 6a,b, 7a, 9b, 12b, and 14 showed significant growth inhibition activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria compared with the reference drug. The most active compounds (4a, 7a, 9b, and 12b) against Staphylococcus aureus were also tested for their in vitro inhibitory action on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The tested compounds showed promising inhibition activity, with the performance of 12b being equal to gentamicin and that of 7a exceeding it. Moreover, the most promising compounds were also screened for their Escherichia coli DNA gyrase inhibitory activity, compared with novobiocin as a reference DNA gyrase inhibitor. The results revealed that compounds (3a, 3b, 4a, 9b, and 12b) had the highest inhibitory capacity, with IC50 values of 2.26–5.87 µM (that of novobiocin is equal to 4.17 µM). Docking studies were performed to identify the mode of binding of the tested compounds to the active site of E. coli DNA gyrase B. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Fusion of Lysostaphin to an Albumin Binding Domain Prolongs Its Half-Life and Bactericidal Activity in the Systemic Circulation
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2892; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162892 - 09 Aug 2019
Abstract
Antibacterial lysins are promising proteins that are active against both antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. However, a major limitation of antibacterial lysins is their fast elimination from systemic circulation. PEGylation increases the plasma half-life of lysins but renders them inactive. Here we report [...] Read more.
Antibacterial lysins are promising proteins that are active against both antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. However, a major limitation of antibacterial lysins is their fast elimination from systemic circulation. PEGylation increases the plasma half-life of lysins but renders them inactive. Here we report the construction of a fusion protein of lysostaphin, a potent anti-staphylococcal lysin, and an albumin-binding domain from streptococcal protein G. The resulting fusion protein was less active than the parent enzyme lysostaphin, but it still retained significant antibacterial activity even when bound to serum albumin. The terminal half-life of the fusion protein in rats was five-fold greater than that of lysostaphin (7.4 vs. 1.5 h), and the area under the curve increased more than 115 times. Most importantly, this increase in systemic circulation time compensated for the decrease in activity. The plasma from rats that received an injection of the fusion protein retained bactericidal activity for up to 7 h, while plasma from rats that received plain lysostaphin lacked any detectable activity after 4 h. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of an antibacterial lysin with both improved pharmacokinetic parameters and prolonged bactericidal activity in the systemic circulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
An Eco-Friendly Technique: Solvent-Free Microwave Synthesis and Docking Studies of Some New Pyridine Nucleosides and Their Pharmacological Significance
Molecules 2019, 24(10), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24101969 - 22 May 2019
Abstract
Two series of novel 5-arylazo-3-cyano-2-(2″,3″,4″,6″-tetra-O-acetyl-β-d-galacto pyranosyloxy) pyridines and 3-cyano-2-(2″,3″,4″,6″-tetra-O-acetyl-β-d-galactopyranosyloxy) pyridines were synthesized in high yields utilizing a microwave-assisted synthesis tool guided by the principles of green chemistry. The chemical structures of the new substances were [...] Read more.
Two series of novel 5-arylazo-3-cyano-2-(2″,3″,4″,6″-tetra-O-acetyl-β-d-galacto pyranosyloxy) pyridines and 3-cyano-2-(2″,3″,4″,6″-tetra-O-acetyl-β-d-galactopyranosyloxy) pyridines were synthesized in high yields utilizing a microwave-assisted synthesis tool guided by the principles of green chemistry. The chemical structures of the new substances were confirmed on the basis of their elemental analysis and spectroscopic data (FT-IR, 1D, 2D-NMR). Activity against different bacterial strains was studied. The anticancer potential of the new compounds is also discussed. Molecular docking was used as a tool in this research work to get better insight into the possible interactions, affinities, and expected modes of binding of the most promising derivatives of the potential chemotherapeutic target (DHFR). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Dimerization on the Pharmacokinetics and Activity of an Antibacterial Enzyme Lysostaphin
Molecules 2019, 24(10), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24101879 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria is a major healthcare problem. Antibacterial lysins are enzymes that cleave the peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell wall. These proteins hold potential as a supplement or an alternative to traditional antibiotics since they are [...] Read more.
The increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria is a major healthcare problem. Antibacterial lysins are enzymes that cleave the peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell wall. These proteins hold potential as a supplement or an alternative to traditional antibiotics since they are active against antibiotic resistant strains. However, antibacterial lysins are rapidly eliminated from the systemic circulation, which limits their application. Dimerization of an anti-pneumococcal lysin Cpl-1 has been demonstrated to decrease the clearance rate of this protein in mice. In the present work, we constructed a dimer of an anti-staphylococcal lysin lysostaphin by fusing it with an anti-parallel α-helical dimerization domain. Lysostaphin dimer had a more favorable pharmacokinetic profile with increased terminal half-life and area under the curve (AUC) values compared to monomeric lysostaphin. However, the staphylolytic activity of dimerized lysostaphin was decreased. This decrease in activity was likely caused by the dimerization; since the catalytic efficacy of lysostaphin dimer towards pentaglycine peptide was unaltered. Our results demonstrate that, although dimerization is indeed beneficial for the pharmacokinetics of antibacterial lysins, this approach might not be suitable for all lysins, as it can negatively affect the lysin activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Biofilm Formation in Acinetobacter Baumannii: Genotype-Phenotype Correlation
Molecules 2019, 24(10), 1849; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24101849 - 14 May 2019
Abstract
Strains of Acinetobacter baumannii are commensal and opportunistic pathogens that have emerged as problematic hospital pathogens due to its biofilm formation ability and multiple antibiotic resistances. The biofilm-associated pathogens usually exhibit dramatically decreased susceptibility to antibiotics. This study was aimed to investigate the [...] Read more.
Strains of Acinetobacter baumannii are commensal and opportunistic pathogens that have emerged as problematic hospital pathogens due to its biofilm formation ability and multiple antibiotic resistances. The biofilm-associated pathogens usually exhibit dramatically decreased susceptibility to antibiotics. This study was aimed to investigate the correlation of biofilm-forming ability, antibiotic resistance and biofilm-related genes of 154 A. baumannii isolates which were collected from a teaching hospital in Taiwan. Biofilm-forming ability of the isolates was evaluated by crystal violet staining and observed by scanning electron microscopy. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by disc diffusion method and minimum inhibitory concentration; the biofilm-related genes were screened by polymerase chain reaction. Results showed that among the 154 tested isolates, 15.6% of the clinical isolates were weak biofilm producers, while 32.5% and 45.4% of them possessed moderate and strong biofilm formation ability, respectively. The experimental results revealed that the multiple drug resistant isolates usually provided a higher biofilm formation. The prevalence of biofilm related genes including bap, blaPER-1, csuE and ompA among the isolated strains was 79.2%, 38.3%, 91.6%, and 68.8%, respectively. The results indicated that the antibiotic resistance, the formation of biofilm and the related genes were significantly correlated. The results of this study can effectively help to understand the antibiotic resistant mechanism and provides the valuable information to the screening, identification, diagnosis, treatment and control of clinical antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Basis for the Inhibition of the Autophosphorylation Activity of HK853 by Luteolin
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050933 - 07 Mar 2019
Abstract
The two-component system (TCS) is a significant signal transduction system for bacteria to adapt to complicated and variable environments, and thus has recently been regarded as a novel target for developing antibacterial agents. The natural product luteolin (Lut) can inhibit the autophosphorylation activity [...] Read more.
The two-component system (TCS) is a significant signal transduction system for bacteria to adapt to complicated and variable environments, and thus has recently been regarded as a novel target for developing antibacterial agents. The natural product luteolin (Lut) can inhibit the autophosphorylation activity of the typical histidine kinase (HK) HK853 from Thermotoga maritime, but the inhibition mechanism is not known. Herein, we report on the binding mechanism of a typical flavone with HK853 by using solution NMR spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and molecular docking. We show that luteolin inhibits the activity of HK853 by occupying the binding pocket of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) through hydrogen bonds and π-π stacking interaction structurally. Our results reveal a detailed mechanism for the inhibition of flavones and observe the conformational and dynamics changes of HK. These results should provide a feasible approach for antibacterial agent design from the view of the histidine kinases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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Open AccessCommunication
Proof of an Outer Membrane Target of the Efflux Inhibitor Phe-Arg-β-Naphthylamide from Random Mutagenesis
Molecules 2019, 24(3), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24030470 - 29 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Phe-Arg-β-naphthylamide (PAβN) has been characterized as an efflux pump inhibitor (EPI) acting on the major multidrug resistance efflux transporters of Gram-negative bacteria, such as AcrB in Eschericha coli. In the present study, in vitro random mutagenesis was used to evolve resistance to [...] Read more.
Phe-Arg-β-naphthylamide (PAβN) has been characterized as an efflux pump inhibitor (EPI) acting on the major multidrug resistance efflux transporters of Gram-negative bacteria, such as AcrB in Eschericha coli. In the present study, in vitro random mutagenesis was used to evolve resistance to the sensitizing activity of PAβN with the aim of elucidating its mechanism of action. A strain was obtained that was phenotypically similar to a previously reported mutant from a serial selection approach that had no efflux-associated mutations. We could confirm that acrB mutations in the new mutant were unrelated to PAβN resistance. The next-generation sequencing of the two mutants revealed loss-of-function mutations in lpxM. An engineered lpxM knockout strain showed up to 16-fold decreased PAβN activity with large lipophilic drugs, while its efflux capacity, as well as the efficacy of other EPIs, remained unchanged. LpxM is responsible for the last acylation step in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) synthesis, and lpxM deficiency has been shown to result in penta-acylated instead of hexa-acylated lipid A. Modeling the two lipid A types revealed steric conformational changes due to underacylation. The findings provide evidence of a target site of PAβN in the LPS layer, and prove membrane activity contributing to its drug-sensitizing potency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Concept of an Ideal Antibiotic: Implications for Drug Design
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050892 - 03 Mar 2019
Cited by 17
Abstract
The emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is a major public health issue, which requires global action of an intersectoral nature. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens—especially “ESKAPE” bacteria—can withstand lethal doses of antibiotics with various chemical structures and mechanisms of action. Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly [...] Read more.
The emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is a major public health issue, which requires global action of an intersectoral nature. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens—especially “ESKAPE” bacteria—can withstand lethal doses of antibiotics with various chemical structures and mechanisms of action. Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning away from participating in the development of new antibiotics, due to the regulatory environment and the financial risks. There is an urgent need for innovation in antibiotic research, as classical discovery platforms (e.g., mining soil Streptomycetes) are no longer viable options. In addition to discovery platforms, a concept of an ideal antibiotic should be postulated, to act as a blueprint for future drugs, and to aid researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and relevant stakeholders in selecting lead compounds. Based on 150 references, the aim of this review is to summarize current advances regarding the challenges of antibiotic drug discovery and the specific attributes of an ideal antibacterial drug (a prodrug or generally reactive compound with no specific target, broad-spectrum antibacterial activity, adequate penetration through the Gram-negative cell wall, activity in biofilms and in hard-to-treat infections, accumulation in macrophages, availability for oral administration, and for use in sensitive patient groups). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Biology of Antimicrobial Resistance)
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