Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Apr 14;10(4):438. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10040438.
Antibiotic resistance is spreading worldwide and it has become one of the most important issues in modern medicine. In this context, the bacterial RNA degradation and processing machinery are essential processes for bacterial viability that may be exploited for antimicrobial therapy. In Staphylococcus aureus, RnpA has been hypothesized to be one of the main players in these mechanisms. S. aureus RnpA is able to modulate mRNA degradation and complex with a ribozyme (rnpB), facilitating ptRNA maturation. Corresponding small molecule screening campaigns have recently identified a few classes of RnpA inhibitors, and their structure activity relationship (SAR) has only been partially explored. Accordingly, in the present work, using computational modeling of S. aureus RnpA we identified putative crucial interactions of known RnpA inhibitors, and we used this information to design, synthesize, and biologically assess new potential RnpA inhibitors. The present results may be beneficial for the overall knowledge about RnpA inhibitors belonging to both RNPA2000-like thiosemicarbazides and JC-like piperidine carboxamides molecular classes. We evaluated the importance of the different key moieties, such as the dichlorophenyl and the piperidine of JC2, and the semithiocarbazide, the furan, and the i-propylphenyl ring of RNPA2000. Our efforts could provide a foundation for further computational-guided investigations.