Repurposing primaquine as a polyamine conjugate to become an antibiotic adjuvant

Bioorg Med Chem. 2021 Mar 14;38:116110. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2021.116110. Online ahead of print.


In our search for new antibiotic adjuvants as a novel strategy to deal with the emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, a series of succinylprimaquine-polyamine (SPQ-PA) conjugates and derivatives of a cationic amphiphilic nature have been prepared. Evaluation of these primaquine conjugates for intrinsic antimicrobial properties and the ability to restore the antibiotic activity of doxycycline identified two derivatives, SPQ-PA3-8-3 and SPQ-PA3-10-3 that exhibited intrinsic activity against the Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and the yeast Cryptococcus neoformans. None of the analogues were active against the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, in the presence of a sub-therapeutic amount of doxycycline (4.5 µM), both SPQ-PA3-4-3 and SPQ-PA3-10-3 compounds displayed potent antibiotic adjuvant properties against P. aeruginosa, with MIC's of 6.25 µM. A series of derivatives were prepared to investigate the structure-activity relationship that explored the influence of both a simplified aryl lipophilic substituent and variation of the length of the polyamine scaffold on observed intrinsic antimicrobial properties and the ability to potentiate the action of doxycycline against P. aeruginosa.

PMID:33831695 | DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2021.116110