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DHODH INHIBITORS: A POTENTIAL NEW CLASS OF ANTIMICROBIALS FOR TREATMENT OF THE DRUG RESISTANT GRAM-NEGATIVE BACILLUS ACINETOBACTER BAUMANNII

Investigators
Phillips, Margaret A.; Russo, Thomas A
Institutions
State University of New York - Buffalo
Start date
2018
End date
2019
Objective
Project Summary/Abstract: The incidence of infections due to highly resistant Acinetobacter baumannii andother GNB is increasing. True pan-drug resistant (PDR) strains have been reported. Unfortunately, the newlyapproved antimicrobials ceftolozane-tazobactam and ceftazidime-avibactam are poorly active against resistantA. baumannii. The need to identify new antimicrobials active against A. baumannii and other GNB is pressing. We have demonstrated that A. baumannii dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (AbDHODH) is in vivoessential in rat and mouse infection models. Importantly, DHODH is a validated drug target in Plasmodiumfalciparum with an antimalarial specific compound evaluated in a recently completed Phase 2 clinical trial(NCT02123290). While DHODH has been verified as a druggable target in Plasmodium, it has received scantattention as an antibacterial target and has not been considered for A. baumannii. The development of antimicrobials that target bacterial DHODH would represent a new class predictedto be active against resistant A. baumannii and perhaps other GNB. We have screened purified AbDHODHagainst a unique library of 450 chemically elaborated drug-like derivatives developed for testing against P.falciparum DHODH (PfDHODH). This resulted in the identification of 18 triazolopyrimidine andimidazopyrimidine drug-like derivatives with nM activity (11 nM-940 nM). We have obtained a co-crystalstructure with the most potent compound. All three compounds assessed to date against live A. baumannii areactive. The most active compound (11 nM activity) had a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ? 1 µg/mlagainst 11/12 geographically diverse A. baumannii strains tested (8 of which were resistant to meropenem),with an MIC of 2 µg/ml for the remaining strain. Most importantly a second compound, that was less active(110 nM activity) but available in sufficient quantity, conferred significant protection in the neutropenic mousethigh infection model. Our experience developing antimalarial therapeutics targeting PfDHODH to the stage of clinicaldevelopment will facilitate the completion these aims. In aim 1, hit expansion through the synthesis of analogsof the identified scaffolds and subsequent assessment will enable further insight into liabilities. These data willenable optimization to best suit the new application of treating A. baumannii infections. In Aim 2, hit to leadprogression and lead optimization of AbDHODH inhibitors will proceed via a combination of iterative medicinechemistry, SAR analysis, crystallography, toxicity studies, in vitro ADME analysis and proof-of-concept in vivoefficacy studies with the objective to identify a late lead compound with the properties needed to advance topreclinical development. Aim 3 will assess the potential for lead compounds to develop resistance. Aim 4 withexpand upon biologic, pharmacologic and toxicity analyses to enable the nomination of a pre-clinical candidatefor the treatment of A. baumanni and potentially other high-risk bacterial infections.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Project source
View this project
Project number
1R56AI129986-01A1
Accession number
129986
Categories
Chemical Contaminants
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins