Amphipathic Barbiturates as Mimics of Antimicrobial Peptides and the Marine Natural Products Eusynstyelamides with Activity against Multi-resistant Clinical Isolates
AuthorPaulsen, Marianne Hagensen; Engqvist, Magnus; Ausbacher, Dominik; Anderssen, Trude; Langer, Manuel Karl; Haug, Tor; Morello, Glenn Robert; Liikanen, Laura; Blencke, Hans-Matti; Isaksson, Johan; Juskewitz, Eric; Bayer, Annette; Strøm, Morten B.
We report a series of synthetic cationic amphipathic barbiturates inspired by the pharmacophore model of small antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and the marine antimicrobials eusynstyelamides. These N,N′-dialkylated-5,5-disubstituted barbiturates consist of an achiral barbiturate scaffold with two cationic groups and two lipophilic side chains. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of 2–8 μg/mL were achieved against 30 multi-resistant clinical isolates of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including isolates with extended spectrum β-lactamase–carbapenemase production. The guanidine barbiturate 7e (3,5-di-Br) demonstrated promising in vivo antibiotic efficacy in mice infected with clinical isolates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae using a neutropenic peritonitis model. Mode of action studies showed a strong membrane disrupting effect and was supported by nuclear magnetic resonance and molecular dynamics simulations. The results express how the pharmacophore model of small AMPs and the structure of the marine eusynstyelamides can be used to design highly potent lead peptidomimetics against multi-resistant bacteria.