Scientific Publication | September 27, 2021

Discovery of Novel UDP-N-Acetylglucosamine Acyltransferase (LpxA) Inhibitors with Activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa

This study describes a novel series of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine acyltransferase (LpxA) inhibitors that was identified through affinity-mediated selection from a DNA-encoded compound library. The original hit was a selective inhibitor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa LpxA with no activity against Escherichia coli LpxA. The biochemical potency of the series was optimized through an X-ray crystallography-supported medicinal chemistry program, resulting in compounds with nanomolar activity against P. aeruginosa LpxA (best half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) <5 nM) and cellular activity against P. aeruginosa (best minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 4 μg/mL). Lack of activity against E. coli was maintained (IC50 > 20 μM and MIC > 128 μg/mL). The mode of action of analogues was confirmed through genetic analyses. As expected, compounds were active against multidrug-resistant isolates. Further optimization of pharmacokinetics is needed before efficacy studies in mouse infection models can be attempted. To our knowledge, this is the first reported LpxA inhibitor series with selective activity against P. aeruginosa.

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