Antibacterial Diamines Targeting Bacterial Membranes

Author(s): Bo W,Boobalan P, Jordon DG, Michael GS, Yong-Mei Z, et al.


Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to human health exacerbated by a lack of new antibiotics. We now describe a series of substituted diamines that produce rapid bactericidal activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and stationary-phase bacteria. These compounds reduce biofilm formation and promote biofilm dispersal in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The most potent analogue, 3 (1,13-bis{[(2,2-diphenyl)-1-ethyl]thioureido}-4,10-diazatridecane), primarily acts by depolarization of the cytoplasmic membrane and permeabilization of the bacterial outer membrane. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed that 3 disrupts membrane integrity rapidly. Compound 3 is also synergistic with kanamycin, demonstrated by the checkerboard method and by time-kill kinetic experiments. In human cell toxicity assays, 3 showed limited adverse effects against the HEK293T human kidney embryonic cells and A549 human adenocarcinoma cells. In addition, 3 produced no adverse effects on Caenorhabditis elegans development, survival, and reproduction. Collectively, diamines related to 3 represent a new class of broad-spectrum antibacterials against drug-resistant pathogens.

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