New Dual Inhibitors of Bacterial Topoisomerases with Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial Activity and In Vivo Efficacy against Vancomycin-Intermediate Staphylococcus aureus

J Med Chem. 2023 Mar 23;66(6):3968-3994. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c01905. Epub 2023 Mar 6.


A new series of dual low nanomolar benzothiazole inhibitors of bacterial DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV were developed. The resulting compounds show excellent broad-spectrum antibacterial activities against Gram-positive Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium and multidrug resistant (MDR) Staphylococcus aureus strains [best compound minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs): range, <0.03125-0.25 μg/mL] and against the Gram-negatives Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae (best compound MICs: range, 1-4 μg/mL). Lead compound 7a was identified with favorable solubility and plasma protein binding, good metabolic stability, selectivity for bacterial topoisomerases, and no toxicity issues. The crystal structure of 7a in complex with Pseudomonas aeruginosa GyrB24 revealed its binding mode at the ATP-binding site. Expanded profiling of 7a and 7h showed potent antibacterial activity against over 100 MDR and non-MDR strains of A. baumannii and several other Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains. Ultimately, in vivo efficacy of 7a in a mouse model of vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus thigh infection was also demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • DNA Gyrase / metabolism
  • DNA Topoisomerase IV
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Staphylococcus aureus* / metabolism
  • Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA Gyrase
  • DNA Topoisomerase IV