Publications by authors named "Nicola G Wallis"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Fragment-Based Discovery of a Potent, Orally Bioavailable Inhibitor That Modulates the Phosphorylation and Catalytic Activity of ERK1/2.

J Med Chem 2018 06 31;61(11):4978-4992. Epub 2018 May 31.

Astex Pharmaceuticals , 436 Cambridge Science Park , Cambridge , CB4 0QA , U.K.

Aberrant activation of the MAPK pathway drives cell proliferation in multiple cancers. Inhibitors of BRAF and MEK kinases are approved for the treatment of BRAF mutant melanoma, but resistance frequently emerges, often mediated by increased signaling through ERK1/2. Here, we describe the fragment-based generation of ERK1/2 inhibitors that block catalytic phosphorylation of downstream substrates such as RSK but also modulate phosphorylation of ERK1/2 by MEK without directly inhibiting MEK. X-ray crystallographic and biophysical fragment screening followed by structure-guided optimization and growth from the hinge into a pocket proximal to the C-α helix afforded highly potent ERK1/2 inhibitors with excellent kinome selectivity. In BRAF mutant cells, the lead compound suppresses pRSK and pERK levels and inhibits proliferation at low nanomolar concentrations. The lead exhibits tumor regression upon oral dosing in BRAF mutant xenograft models, providing a promising basis for further optimization toward clinical pERK1/2 modulating ERK1/2 inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b00421DOI Listing
June 2018

ASTX660, a Novel Non-peptidomimetic Antagonist of cIAP1/2 and XIAP, Potently Induces TNFα-Dependent Apoptosis in Cancer Cell Lines and Inhibits Tumor Growth.

Mol Cancer Ther 2018 07 25;17(7):1381-1391. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Because of their roles in the evasion of apoptosis, inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) are considered attractive targets for anticancer therapy. Antagonists of these proteins have the potential to switch prosurvival signaling pathways in cancer cells toward cell death. Various SMAC-peptidomimetics with inherent cIAP selectivity have been tested clinically and demonstrated minimal single-agent efficacy. ASTX660 is a potent, non-peptidomimetic antagonist of cIAP1/2 and XIAP, discovered using fragment-based drug design. The antagonism of XIAP and cIAP1 by ASTX660 was demonstrated on purified proteins, cells, and in xenograft models. The compound binds to the isolated BIR3 domains of both XIAP and cIAP1 with nanomolar potencies. In cells and xenograft tissue, direct antagonism of XIAP was demonstrated by measuring its displacement from caspase-9 or SMAC. Compound-induced proteasomal degradation of cIAP1 and 2, resulting in downstream effects of NIK stabilization and activation of noncanonical NF-κB signaling, demonstrated cIAP1/2 antagonism. Treatment with ASTX660 led to TNFα-dependent induction of apoptosis in various cancer cell lines , whereas dosing in mice bearing breast and melanoma tumor xenografts inhibited tumor growth. ASTX660 is currently being tested in a phase I-II clinical trial (NCT02503423), and we propose that its antagonism of cIAP1/2 and XIAP may offer improved efficacy over first-generation antagonists that are more cIAP1/2 selective. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0848DOI Listing
July 2018

Emergence of resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non-small-cell lung cancer can be delayed by an upfront combination with the HSP90 inhibitor onalespib.

Br J Cancer 2016 Oct 27;115(9):1069-1077. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

Astex Pharmaceuticals, 436 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0QA, UK.

Background: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as crizotinib and erlotinib, are widely used to treat non-small-cell lung cancer, but after initial response, relapse is common because of the emergence of resistance through multiple mechanisms. Here, we investigated whether a frontline combination with an HSP90 inhibitor could delay the emergence of resistance to these inhibitors in preclinical lung cancer models.

Methods: The HSP90 inhibitor, onalespib, was combined with either crizotinib or erlotinib in ALK- or EGFR-activated xenograft models respectively (H2228, HCC827).

Results: In both models, after initial response to the monotherapy kinase inhibitors, tumour relapse was observed. In contrast, tumour growth remained inhibited when treated with an onalespib/kinase inhibitor combination. Analysis of H2228 tumours, which had relapsed on crizotinib monotherapy, identified a number of clinically relevant crizotinib resistance mechanisms, suggesting that HSP90 inhibitor treatment was capable of suppressing multiple mechanisms of resistance. Resistant cell lines, derived from these tumours, retained sensitivity to onalespib (proliferation and signalling pathways were inhibited), indicating that, despite their resistance to crizotinib, they were still sensitive to HSP90 inhibition.

Conclusions: Together, these preclinical data suggest that frontline combination with an HSP90 inhibitor may be a method for delaying the emergence of resistance to targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5117788PMC
October 2016

Inhibition of HSP90 by AT13387 delays the emergence of resistance to BRAF inhibitors and overcomes resistance to dual BRAF and MEK inhibition in melanoma models.

Mol Cancer Ther 2014 Dec 27;13(12):2793-2804. Epub 2014 Oct 27.

Astex Pharmaceuticals, 436 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0QA, UK.

Emergence of clinical resistance to BRAF inhibitors, alone or in combination with MEK inhibitors, limits clinical responses in melanoma. Inhibiting HSP90 offers an approach to simultaneously interfere with multiple resistance mechanisms. Using the HSP90 inhibitor AT13387, which is currently in clinical trials, we investigated the potential of HSP90 inhibition to overcome or delay the emergence of resistance to these kinase inhibitors in melanoma models. In vitro, treating vemurafenib-sensitive cells (A375 or SK-MEL-28) with a combination of AT13387 and vemurafenib prevented colony growth under conditions in which vemurafenib treatment alone generated resistant colonies. In vivo, when AT13387 was combined with vemurafenib in a SK-MEL-28, vemurafenib-sensitive model, no regrowth of tumors was observed over 5 months, although 2 of 7 tumors in the vemurafenib monotherapy group relapsed in this time. Together, these data suggest that the combination of these agents can delay the emergence of resistance. Cell lines with acquired vemurafenib resistance, derived from these models (A375R and SK-MEL-28R) were also sensitive to HSP90 inhibitor treatment; key clients were depleted, apoptosis was induced, and growth in 3D culture was inhibited. Similar effects were observed in cell lines with acquired resistance to both BRAF and MEK inhibitors (SK-MEL-28RR, WM164RR, and 1205LuRR). These data suggest that treatment with an HSP90 inhibitor, such as AT13387, is a potential approach for combating resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibition in melanoma. Moreover, frontline combination of these agents with an HSP90 inhibitor could delay the emergence of resistance, providing a strong rationale for clinical investigation of such combinations in BRAF-mutated melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-14-0452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4263034PMC
December 2014

The HSP90 inhibitor, AT13387, is effective against imatinib-sensitive and -resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumor models.

Mol Cancer Ther 2012 Aug 19;11(8):1799-808. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Astex Pharmaceuticals, 436 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0QA, United Kingdom.

The majority of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are characterized by activating mutations of KIT, an HSP90 client protein. Further secondary resistance mutations within KIT limit clinical responses to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as imatinib. The dependence of KIT and its mutated forms on HSP90 suggests that HSP90 inhibition might be a valuable treatment option for GIST, which would be equally effective on imatinib-sensitive and -resistant clones. We investigated the activity of AT13387, a potent HSP90 inhibitor currently being evaluated in clinical trials, in both in vitro and in vivo GIST models. AT13387 inhibited the proliferation of imatinib-sensitive (GIST882, GIST-T1) and -resistant (GIST430, GIST48) cell lines, including those resistant to the geldanamycin analogue HSP90 inhibitor, 17-AAG. Treatment with AT13387 resulted in depletion of HSP90 client proteins, KIT and AKT, along with their phospho-forms in imatinib-sensitive and -resistant cell lines, irrespective of KIT mutation. KIT signaling was ablated, whereas HSP70, a marker of HSP90 inhibition, was induced. In vivo, antitumor activity of AT13387 was showed in both the imatinib-sensitive, GIST-PSW, xenograft model and a newly characterized imatinib-resistant, GIST430, xenograft model. Induction of HSP70, depletion of phospho-KIT and inhibition of KIT signaling were seen in tumors from both models after treatment with AT13387. A combination of imatinib and AT13387 treatment in the imatinib-resistant GIST430 model significantly enhanced tumor growth inhibition over either of the monotherapies. Importantly, the combination of AT13387 and imatinib was well tolerated. These results suggest AT13387 is an excellent candidate for clinical testing in GIST in combination with imatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-1046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992119PMC
August 2012

The heat shock protein 90 inhibitor, AT13387, displays a long duration of action in vitro and in vivo in non-small cell lung cancer.

Cancer Sci 2012 Mar 9;103(3):522-7. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Astex Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Cambridge, UK.

A ubiquitously expressed chaperone, heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is of considerable interest as an oncology target because tumor cells and oncogenic proteins are acutely dependent on its activity. AT13387 (2,4-dihydroxy-5-isopropyl-phenyl)-[5-(4-methyl-piperazin-1-ylmethyl)-1,3-dihydro-isoindol-2-yl] methanone, l-lactic acid salt) a novel, high-affinity HSP90 inhibitor, which is currently being clinically tested, has shown activity against a wide array of tumor cell lines, including lung cancer cell lines. This inhibitor has induced the degradation of specific HSP90 client proteins for up to 7 days in tumor cell lines in vitro. The primary driver of cell growth (mutant epidermal growth factor receptors) was particularly sensitive to HSP90 inhibition. The long duration of client protein knockdown and suppression of phospho-signaling seen in vitro after treatment with AT13387 was also apparent in vivo, with client proteins and phospho-signaling suppressed for up to 72 h in xenograft tumors after treatment with a single dose of AT13387. Pharmacokinetic analyses indicated that while AT13387 was rapidly cleared from blood, its retention in tumor xenografts was markedly extended, and it was efficacious in a range of xenograft models. AT13387's long duration of action enabled, in particular, its efficacious once weekly administration in human lung carcinoma xenografts. The use of longer-acting HSP90 inhibitors, such as AT13387, on less frequent dosing regimens has the potential to maintain antitumor efficacy as well as minimize systemic exposure and unwanted effects on normal tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1349-7006.2011.02191.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7659191PMC
March 2012

AT9283, a potent inhibitor of the Aurora kinases and Jak2, has therapeutic potential in myeloproliferative disorders.

Br J Haematol 2010 Jul 7;150(1):46-57. Epub 2010 May 7.

Department of Haematology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Constitutive activation of Janus kinase (Jak) 2 is the most prevalent pathogenic event observed in the myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), suggesting that inhibitors of Jak2 may prove valuable in their management. Inhibition of the Aurora kinases has also proven to be an effective therapeutic strategy in a number of haematological malignancies. AT9283 is a multi-targeted kinase inhibitor with potent activity against Jak2 and Aurora kinases A and B, and is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. To investigate the therapeutic potential of AT9283 in the MPD we studied its activity in a number of Jak2-dependent systems. AT9283 potently inhibited proliferation and Jak2-related signalling in Jak2-dependent cell lines as well as inhibiting the formation of erythroid colonies from haematopoietic progenitors isolated from MPD patients with Jak2 mutations. The compound also demonstrated significant therapeutic potential in vivo in an ETV6-JAK2 (TEL-JAK2) murine leukaemia model. Inhibition of both Jak2 and Aurora B was observed in the model systems used, indicating a dual mechanism of action. Our results suggest that AT9283 may be a valuable therapy in patients with MPD and that the dual inhibition of Jak2 and the Aurora kinases may potentially offer combinatorial efficacy in the treatment of these diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08175.xDOI Listing
July 2010

Biological characterization of AT7519, a small-molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases, in human tumor cell lines.

Mol Cancer Ther 2009 Feb 27;8(2):324-32. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

Astex Therapeutics Ltd., 436 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK), and their regulatory cyclin partners, play a central role in eukaryotic cell growth, division, and death. This key role in cell cycle progression, as well as their deregulation in several human cancers, makes them attractive therapeutic targets in oncology. A series of CDK inhibitors was developed using Astex's fragment-based medicinal chemistry approach, linked to high-throughput X-ray crystallography. A compound from this series, designated AT7519, is currently in early-phase clinical development. We describe here the biological characterization of AT7519, a potent inhibitor of several CDK family members. AT7519 showed potent antiproliferative activity (40-940 nmol/L) in a panel of human tumor cell lines, and the mechanism of action was shown here to be consistent with the inhibition of CDK1 and CDK2 in solid tumor cell lines. AT7519 caused cell cycle arrest followed by apoptosis in human tumor cells and inhibited tumor growth in human tumor xenograft models. Tumor regression was observed following twice daily dosing of AT7519 in the HCT116 and HT29 colon cancer xenograft models. We show that these biological effects are linked to inhibition of CDKs in vivo and that AT7519 induces tumor cell apoptosis in these xenograft models. AT7519 has an attractive biological profile for development as a clinical candidate, and the tolerability and efficacy in animal models compare favorably with other CDK inhibitors in clinical development. Studies described here formed the biological rationale for investigating the potential therapeutic benefit of AT7519 in cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0890DOI Listing
February 2009

Fragment-based discovery of mexiletine derivatives as orally bioavailable inhibitors of urokinase-type plasminogen activator.

J Med Chem 2008 Jan 29;51(2):183-6. Epub 2007 Dec 29.

Astex Therapeutics Ltd, 436 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0QA, United Kingdom.

Fragment-based lead discovery has been applied to urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). The (R)-enantiomer of the orally active drug mexiletine 5 (a fragment hit from X-ray crystallographic screening) was the chemical starting point. Structure-aided design led to elaborated inhibitors that retained the key interactions of (R)-5 while gaining extra potency by simultaneously occupying neighboring regions of the active site. Subsequent optimization led to 15, a potent, selective, and orally bioavailable inhibitor of uPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm701359zDOI Listing
January 2008

Biochemical characterization of the first essential two-component signal transduction system from Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol 2003 ;5(4):252-60

Antimicrobials and Host Defense, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, PA, USA.

The YYCFG two-component signal transduction system (TCSTS) has been shown to be essential to the viability of several gram-positive bacteria. However, the function of the gene pair remains unknown. Interestingly, while both components are essential to Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis, only the response regulator (YYCF) is essential to Streptococcus pneumoniae. To study this essential TCSTS further, the S. pneumoniae and S. aureus truncated YycG histidine kinase and full-length YycF response regulator proteins were characterized at a biochemical level. The recombinant proteins from both organisms were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. The YycG autophosphorylation activities were activated by ammonium. The apparent K(m )(ATP) of S. aureus YycG autophosphorylation was 130 microM and S. pneumoniae was 3.0 microM. Each had similar K(cat )values of 0.036 and 0.024 min(-1), respectively. Cognate phosphotransfer was also investigated indicating different levels of the phosphorylated YycG intermediates during the reaction. The S. pneumoniae YycG phosphorylated intermediate was not detectable in the presence of its cognate YycF, while phosphorylated S. aureus YycG and YycF were detected concurrently. In addition, noncognate phosphotransfer was demonstrated between the two species. These studies thoroughly compare the essential YycFG TCSTS from the two species at the biochemical level and also establish methods for assaying the activities of these antibacterial targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000071077DOI Listing
September 2003

Indole naphthyridinones as inhibitors of bacterial enoyl-ACP reductases FabI and FabK.

J Med Chem 2003 Apr;46(9):1627-35

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, 1250 South Collegeville Road, P.O. Box 5089, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426, USA.

Bacterial enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI) is responsible for catalyzing the final step of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and is an attractive target for the development of novel antibacterial agents. Previously we reported the development of FabI inhibitor 4 with narrow spectrum antimicrobial activity and in vivo efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus via intraperitoneal (ip) administration. Through iterative medicinal chemistry aided by X-ray crystal structure analysis, a new series of inhibitors has been developed with greatly increased potency against FabI-containing organisms. Several of these new inhibitors have potent antibacterial activity against multidrug resistant strains of S. aureus, and compound 30 demonstrates exceptional oral (po) in vivo efficacy in a S. aureus infection model in rats. While optimizing FabI inhibitory activity, compounds 29 and 30 were identified as having low micromolar FabK inhibitory activity, thereby increasing the antimicrobial spectrum of these compounds to include the FabK-containing pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis. The results described herein support the hypothesis that bacterial enoyl-ACP reductases are valid targets for antibacterial agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm0204035DOI Listing
April 2003

Characterization of Streptococcus pneumoniae enoyl-(acyl-carrier protein) reductase (FabK).

Biochem J 2003 Mar;370(Pt 3):1055-62

Protein Science Division, Department of Infectious Disease, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

The enoyl-(acyl-carrier protein) (ACP) reductase catalyses the last step in each cycle of fatty acid elongation in the type II fatty acid synthase systems. An extensively characterized NADH-dependent reductase, FabI, is widely distributed in bacteria and plants, whereas the enoyl-ACP reductase, FabK, is a distinctly different member of this enzyme group discovered in Streptococcus pneumoniae. We were unable to delete the fabK gene from Strep. pneumoniae, suggesting that this is the only enoyl-ACP reductase in this organism. The FabK enzyme was purified and the biochemical properties of the reductase were examined. The visible absorption spectrum of the purified protein indicated the presence of a flavin cofactor that was identified as FMN by MS, and was present in a 1:1 molar ratio with protein. FabK specifically required NADH and the protein activity was stimulated by ammonium ions. FabK also exhibited NADH oxidase activity in the absence of substrate. Strep. pneumoniae belongs to the Bacillus / Lactobacillus / Streptococcus group that includes Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. These two organisms also contain FabK-related genes, suggesting that they may also express a FabK-like enoyl-ACP reductase. However, the genes did not complement a fabI (Ts) mutant and the purified flavoproteins were unable to reduce enoyl-ACP in vitro and did not exhibit NAD(P)H oxidase activity, indicating they were not enoyl-ACP reductases. The restricted occurrence of the FabK enoyl-ACP reductase may be related to the role of substrate-independent NADH oxidation in oxygen-dependent anaerobic energy metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20021699DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1223239PMC
March 2003

Defining and combating the mechanisms of triclosan resistance in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2002 Nov;46(11):3343-7

Microbial, Musculoskeletal and Proliferative Diseases CEDD. Computational and Structural Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426, USA.

The MICs of triclosan for 31 clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were 0.016 micro g/ml (24 strains), 1 to 2 micro g/ml (6 strains), and 0.25 micro g/ml (1 strain). All the strains for which triclosan MICs were elevated (>0.016 micro g/ml) showed three- to fivefold increases in their levels of enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase (FabI) production. Furthermore, strains for which triclosan MICs were 1 to 2 micro g/ml overexpressed FabI with an F204C alteration. Binding studies with radiolabeled NAD(+) demonstrated that this change prevents the formation of the stable triclosan-NAD(+)-FabI complex, and both this alteration and its overexpression contributed to achieving MICs of 1 to 2 micro g/ml for these strains. Three novel, potent inhibitors of FabI (50% inhibitory concentrations, < or =64 nM) demonstrated up to 1,000-fold better activity than triclosan against the strains for which triclosan MICs were elevated. None of the compounds tested from this series formed a stable complex with NAD(+)-FabI. Consequently, although the overexpression of wild-type FabI gave rise to an increase in the MICs, as expected, overexpression of FabI with an F204C alteration did not cause an additional increase in resistance. Therefore, this work identifies the mechanisms of triclosan resistance in S. aureus, and we present three compounds from a novel chemical series of FabI inhibitors which have excellent activities against both triclosan-resistant and -sensitive clinical isolates of S. aureus.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC128739PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aac.46.11.3343-3347.2002DOI Listing
November 2002

Discovery of a novel and potent class of FabI-directed antibacterial agents.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2002 10;46(10):3118-24

Microbial, Musculoskeletal and Proliferative Diseases Center of Excellence in Drug Discovery, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426, USA.

Bacterial enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase (FabI) catalyzes the final step in each elongation cycle of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and is an attractive target for the development of new antibacterial agents. High-throughput screening of the Staphylococcus aureus FabI enzyme identified a novel, weak inhibitor with no detectable antibacterial activity against S. aureus. Iterative medicinal chemistry and X-ray crystal structure-based design led to the identification of compound 4 [(E)-N-methyl-N-(2-methyl-1H-indol-3-ylmethyl)-3-(7-oxo-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-1,8-naphthyridin-3-yl)acrylamide], which is 350-fold more potent than the original lead compound obtained by high-throughput screening in the FabI inhibition assay. Compound 4 has exquisite antistaphylococci activity, achieving MICs at which 90% of isolates are inhibited more than 500 times lower than those of nine currently available antibiotics against a panel of multidrug-resistant strains of S. aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Furthermore, compound 4 exhibits excellent in vivo efficacy in an S. aureus infection model in rats. Biochemical and genetic approaches have confirmed that the mode of antibacterial action of compound 4 and related compounds is via inhibition of FabI. Compound 4 also exhibits weak FabK inhibitory activity, which may explain its antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis, which depend on FabK and both FabK and FabI, respectively, for their enoyl-ACP reductase function. These results show that compound 4 is representative of a new, totally synthetic series of antibacterial agents that has the potential to provide novel alternatives for the treatment of S. aureus infections that are resistant to our present armory of antibiotics.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC128775PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aac.46.10.3118-3124.2002DOI Listing
October 2002

The bacA gene, which determines bacitracin susceptibility in Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, is also required for virulence.

Microbiology (Reading) 2000 Jul;146 ( Pt 7):1547-1553

Anti-Infective Research (UP1345), SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, 1250 South Collegeville Road, PO Box 5089, Collegeville, PA19426-0989, USA1.

Homologues of Escherichia coli bacA, encoding extremely hydrophobic proteins, were identified in the genomes of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Allelic replacement mutagenesis demonstrated that the gene is not essential for in vitro growth in either organism, and the mutants showed no significant changes in growth rate or morphology. The Staph. aureus bacA mutant showed slightly reduced virulence in a mouse model of infection and an eightfold increase in bacitracin susceptibility. However, a Strep. pneumoniae bacA mutant was highly attenuated in a mouse model of infection, and demonstrated an increase in susceptibility to bacitracin of up to 160000-fold. These observations are consistent with the previously proposed role of BacA protein as undecaprenol kinase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/00221287-146-7-1547DOI Listing
July 2000