A number of new F-triazolequinolones (FTQs) and alkoxy-triazolequinolones (ATQs) were designed, synthesized and evaluated for their activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Five out of 21 compounds exhibited interesting minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values (6.6-57.9 μM), ATQs generally being more potent than FTQs. Two ATQs, 21a and 30a, were endowed with the best anti-Mtb potency (MIC = 6.9 and 6.6 μM, respectively), and were not cytotoxic in a Vero cell line. Tested for activity against M. tuberculosis DNA gyrase in a DNA supercoiling activity assay, 21a and 30a showed IC50 values (27-28 μM) comparable to that of ciprofloxacin (10.6 μM). 21a was next selected for screening against several Mtb strains obtained from clinical isolates, including multi-drug-resistant (MDR) variants. Importantly, this compound was effective in all cases, with very promising MIC values (4 μM) in the case of some isoniazid/rifampicin-resistant Mtb strains. Finally, computer-based simulations revealed that the binding mode of 21a in the Mtb gyrase cleavage core complexed with DNA and the relevant network of intermolecular interactions are utterly similar to those described for ciprofloxacin, yielding a molecular rationale for the comparable anti-mycobacterial and DNA gyrase inhibition activity of this quinolone.
Keywords: Antitubercular activity; In vitro and in silico studies; M. tuberculosis DNA gyrase; M. tuberculosis clinical strains; Triazoloquinolones.
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