Novel Imidazoline Antimicrobial Scaffold That Inhibits DNA Replication with Activity against Mycobacteria and Drug Resistant Gram-Positive Cocci

Bacterial antimicrobial resistance is an escalating public health threat, yet the current antimicrobial pipeline remains alarmingly depleted, making the development of new antimicrobials an urgent need. Here, we identify a novel, potent, imidazoline antimicrobial compound, SKI-356313, with bactericidal activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Gram-positive cocci, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). SKI-356313 is active in murine models of Streptococcus pneumoniae and MRSA infection and is potently bactericidal for both replicating and nonreplicating M. tuberculosis. Using a combination of genetics, whole genome sequencing, and a novel target ID approach using real time imaging of core macromolecular biosynthesis, we show that SKI-356313 inhibits DNA replication and displaces the replisome from the bacterial nucleoid. These results identify a new antimicrobial scaffold with a novel mechanism of action and potential therapeutic utility against nonreplicating M. tuberculosis and antibiotic resistant Gram-positive cocci.