Identification of Pyridinium with Three Indole Moieties as an Antimicrobial Agent

A novel pyridinium with three indole moieties, tricepyridinium, was obtained from the culture of an Escherichia coli clone incorporating metagenomic libraries from the marine sponge Discodermia calyx. For the important structural elements of tricepyridinium to be investigated for antibacterial activity, tricepyridinium and its analogues were chemically synthesized. Tricepyridinium had antimicrobial activity, but not against E. coli, and cytotoxicity against P388 cells. Additional bioassays with its synthetic analogues revealed that the intriguing combination of the indole moieties, most likely derived from three tryptamines, as well as the pyridinium moiety were chiefly responsible for its potent biological activities.