The recent emergence of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has complicated and significantly slowed efforts to eradicate and/or reduce the worldwide incidence of life-threatening acute and chronic cases of tuberculosis. To overcome this setback, researchers have increased the intensity of their work to identify new small-molecule compounds that are expected to remain efficacious antimicrobials against Mtb. Here, we describe our effort to apply the principles of molecular hybridization to synthesize 16 compounds carrying thiophene and thiazole rings beside the core urea functionality (TTU1-TTU16). Following extensive structural characterization, the obtained compounds were initially evaluated for their antimycobacterial activity against Mtb H37Rv. Subsequently, three derivatives standing out with their anti-Mtb activity profiles and low cytotoxicity (TTU5, TTU6, and TTU12) were tested on isoniazid-resistant clinical isolates carrying katG and inhA mutations. Additionally, due to their pharmacophore similarities to the well-known InhA inhibitors, the molecules were screened for their enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (InhA) inhibitory potentials. Molecular docking studies were performed to support the experimental enzyme inhibition data. Finally, drug-likeness of the selected compounds was established by theoretical calculations of physicochemical descriptors.
Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; antimycobacterial; drug-resistant clinical isolates; enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase; thiazole; thiophene.
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