Lipophilic efficient phenylthiazoles with potent undecaprenyl pyrophosphatase inhibitory activity.


Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA; Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology, and Infectious Disease, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Antibiotic resistance remains a pressing medical challenge for which novel antibacterial agents are urgently needed. The phenylthiazole scaffold represents a promising platform to develop novel antibacterial agents for drug-resistant infections. However, enhancing the physicochemical profile of this class of compounds remains a challenging endeavor to address to successfully translate these molecules into novel antibacterial agents in the clinic. We extended our understanding of the SAR of the phenylthiazoles' lipophilic moiety by exploring its ability to accommodate a hydrophilic group or a smaller sized hetero-ring with the objective of enhancing the physicochemical properties of this class of novel antimicrobials. Overall, the 2-thienyl derivative 20 and the hydroxyl-containing derivative 31 emerged as the most promising antibacterial agents inhibiting growth of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus at a concentration as low as 1 μg/mL. Remarkably, compound 20 suppressed bacterial undecaprenyl pyrophosphatase (UppP), the molecular target of the phenylthiazole compounds, in a sub nano-molar concentration range (almost 20,000 times more potent than the lead compounds 1a and 1b). Compound 31 possessed the most balanced antibacterial and physicochemical profile. The compound exhibited rapid bactericidal activity against S. aureus, and successfully cleared intracellular S. aureus within infected macrophages. Furthermore, insertion of the hydroxyl group enhanced the aqueous solubility of 31 by more than 50-fold relative to the first-generation lead 1c.