Sulfonamide-Based Inhibitors of Biotin Protein Ligase as New Antibiotic Leads

Kwang Jun Lee, William Tieu, Beatriz Blanco-Rodriguez, Ashleigh S. Paparella, Jingxian Yu, Andrew Hayes, Jiage Feng, Andrew C. Marshall, Benjamin Noll, Robert Milne, Danielle Cini, Matthew C.J. Wilce, Grant W. Booker, John B. Bruning, Steven W. Polyak, Andrew D. Abell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Here, we report the design, synthesis, and evaluation of a series of inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus BPL (SaBPL), where the central acyl phosphate of the natural intermediate biotinyl-5′-AMP (1) is replaced by a sulfonamide isostere. Acylsulfamide (6) and amino sulfonylurea (7) showed potent in vitro inhibitory activity (Ki = 0.007 ± 0.003 and 0.065 ± 0.03 μM, respectively) and antibacterial activity against S. aureus ATCC49775 with minimum inhibitory concentrations of 0.25 and 4 μg/mL, respectively. Additionally, the bimolecular interactions between the BPL and inhibitors 6 and 7 were defined by X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics simulations. The high acidity of the sulfonamide linkers of 6 and 7 likely contributes to the enhanced in vitro inhibitory activities by promoting interaction with SaBPL Lys187. Analogues with alkylsulfamide (8), β-ketosulfonamide (9), and β-hydroxysulfonamide (10) isosteres were devoid of significant activity. Binding free energy estimation using computational methods suggests deprotonated 6 and 7 to be the best binders, which is consistent with enzyme assay results. Compound 6 was unstable in whole blood, leading to poor pharmacokinetics. Importantly, 7 has a vastly improved pharmacokinetic profile compared to that of 6 presumably due to the enhanced metabolic stability of the sulfonamide linker moiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1990-1997
Number of pages8
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 20 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine


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