Bioorg Med Chem. 2021 Apr 2;38:116138. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2021.116138. Online ahead of print.
A series of novel pleuromutilin derivatives were designed and synthesized with 1,2,4-triazole as the linker connected to benzoyl chloride analogues under mild conditions. The in vitro antibacterial activities of the synthesized derivatives against four strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA ATCC 43300, ATCC 29213, AD3 and 144) were tested by the broth dilution method. Most of the synthesized derivatives displayed potent activities, and 22-(3-amino-2-(4-methyl-benzoyl)-1,2,4-triazole-5-yl)-thioacetyl)-22-deoxypleuromutilin (compound 12) was found to be the most active antibacterial derivative against MRSA (MIC = 0.125 μg/mL). Furthermore, the time-kill curves showed compound 12 had a certain inhibitory effect against MRSA in vitro. The in vivo antibacterial activity of compound 12 was further evaluated using MRSA infected murine thigh model. Compound 12 exhibited superior antibacterial efficacy than tiamulin. It was also found that compound 12 had no significant inhibitory effect on the proliferation of RAW264.7 cells. Compound 12 was further evaluated in CYP450 inhibition assay and showed moderate inhibitory effect on CYP3A4 (IC50 = 3.95 μM). Moreover, seven candidate compounds showed different affinities with the 50S ribosome by SPR measurement. Subsequently, binding of compound 12 and 20 to the 50S ribosome was further investigated by molecular modeling. Three strong hydrogen bonds were formed through the interaction of compound 12 and 20 with 50S ribosome. The binding free energy of compound 12 and 20 with the ribosome was calculated to be -10.7 kcal/mol and -11.66 kcal/mol, respectively.