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Inhibition of Acinetobacter-Derived Cephalosporinase: Exploring the Carboxylate Recognition Site Using Novel β‑Lactamase Inhibitors

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posted on 16.11.2017 by Emilia Caselli, Chiara Romagnoli, Rachel A. Powers, Magdalena A. Taracila, Alexandra A. Bouza, Hollister C. Swanson, Kali A. Smolen, Francesco Fini, Bradley J. Wallar, Robert A. Bonomo, Fabio Prati
Boronic acids are attracting a lot of attention as β-lactamase inhibitors, and in particular, compound S02030 (Ki = 44 nM) proved to be a good lead compound against ADC-7 (Acinetobacter-derived cephalosporinase), one of the most significant resistance determinants in A. baumannii. The atomic structure of the ADC-7/S02030 complex highlighted the importance of critical structural determinants for recognition of the boronic acids. Herein, to elucidate the role in recognition of the R2-carboxylate, which mimics the C3/C4 found in β-lactams, we designed, synthesized, and characterized six derivatives of S02030 (3a). Out of the six compounds, the best inhibitors proved to be those with an explicit negative charge (compounds 3ac, 3h, and 3j, Ki = 44–115 nM), which is in contrast to the derivatives where the negative charge is omitted, such as the amide derivative 3d (Ki = 224 nM) and the hydroxyamide derivative 3e (Ki = 155 nM). To develop a structural characterization of inhibitor binding in the active site, the X-ray crystal structures of ADC-7 in a complex with compounds 3c, SM23, and EC04 were determined. All three compounds share the same structural features as in S02030 but only differ in the carboxy-R2 side chain, thereby providing the opportunity of exploring the distinct binding mode of the negatively charged R2 side chain. This cephalosporinase demonstrates a high degree of versatility in recognition, employing different residues to directly interact with the carboxylate, thus suggesting the existence of a “carboxylate binding region” rather than a binding site in ADC enzymes. Furthermore, this class of compounds was tested against resistant clinical strains of A. baumannii and are effective at inhibiting bacterial growth in conjunction with a β-lactam antibiotic.

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