Introduction: A variety of organic compounds has been reported to have antibacterial activity. However, antimicrobial resistance is one of the main problems of current anti-infective therapy, and the development of novel antibacterials is one of the main challenges of current drug discovery.
Methods: Using our previously developed dual-reporter High-Throughput Screening (HTS) platform, we identified a series of furanocoumarins as having high antibacterial activity. The construction of the reporter system allows us to differentiate three mechanisms of action for the active compounds: inhibition of protein synthesis (induction of Katushka2S), DNA damaging (induction of RFP) or other (inhibition of bacterial growth without reporter induction).
Results: Two primary hit-molecules of furanocoumarin series demonstrated relatively low MIC values comparable to that observed for Erythromycin (Ery) against E. coli and weakly induced both reporters. Dose-dependent translation inhibition was shown using in vitro luciferase assay, however it was not confirmed using C14-test. A series of close structure analogs of the identified hits was obtained and investigated using the same screening platform. Compound 19 was found to have slightly lower MIC value (15.18 µM) and higher induction of Katushka2S reporter in contrast to the parent structures. Moreover, translation blockage was clearly identified using both in vitro luciferase assay and C14 test. The standard cytotoxicity test revealed a relatively low cytotoxicity of the most active molecules.
Conclusion: High antibacterial activity in combination with low cytotoxicity was demonstrated for a series of furanocoumarins. Further optimization of the described structures may result in novel and attractive lead compounds with promising antibacterial efficiency.
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