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Size Matters and How You Measure It: A Gram-Negative Antibacterial Example Exceeding Typical Molecular Weight Limits

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journal contribution
posted on 03.09.2019, 11:36 by Fiorella Ruggiu, Shengtian Yang, Robert L. Simmons, Anthony Casarez, Adriana K. Jones, Cindy Li, Johanna M. Jansen, Heinz E. Moser, Charles R. Dean, Folkert Reck, Mika Lindvall
Monobactam antibiotic 1 is active against Gram-negative bacteria even though it has a higher molecular weight (MW) than the limit of 600 Da typically applied in designing such compounds. On the basis of 2D NMR data, the compound is able to adopt a compact conformation. The dimensions, projection area, and dipole moment derived from this conformation are compatible with porin permeation, as are locations of polar groups upon superimposition to the crystal structure of ampicillin bound to E. coli OmpF porin. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) shifts in a porin knock-out strain are also consistent with 1 predominately permeating through porins. In conclusion, we describe a carefully characterized case of a molecule outside default design parameters where MW does not adequately represent the 3D shape more directly related to permeability. Leveraging 3D design criteria would open up additional chemical space currently underutilized due to limitations perceived in 2D.