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Expanding the squaramide library as mycobacterial ATP synthase inhibitors

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:innovative synthetic pathway and biological evaluation
Mycobacterial ATP synthase is a validated therapeutic target for combating drug-resistant tuberculosis. Inhibition of this enzyme has been featured as an efficient strategy for the development of new antimycobacterial agents against drug-resistant pathogens. In this study, we synthesised and explored two distinct series of squaric acid analogues designed to inhibit mycobacterial ATP synthase. Among the extensive array of compounds investigated, members of the phenyl-substituted sub-library emerged as primary hits. To gain deeper insights into their mechanisms of action, we conducted advanced biological studies, focusing on the compounds displaying a direct binding of a nitrogen heteroatom to the phenyl ring, resulting in the highest potency. Our investigations into spontaneous mutants led to the validation of a single point mutation within the atpB gene (Rv1304), responsible for encoding the ATP synthase subunit a. This genetic alteration sheds light on the molecular basis of resistance to squaramides. Furthermore, we explored the possibility of synergy between squaramides and the reference drug clofazimine using a checkerboard assay, highlighting the promising avenue for enhancing the effectiveness of existing treatments through combined therapeutic approaches. This study contributes to the expansion of investigating squaramides as promising drug candidates in the ongoing battle against drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Journal: Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry
ISSN: 0968-0896
Volume: 95
Pages: 1 - 18
Publication year:2023
Keywords:A1 Journal article