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Peptidomimetic Antibiotics Target Outer-Membrane Biogenesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Science  19 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5968, pp. 1010-1013
DOI: 10.1126/science.1182749

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Abstract

Antibiotics with new mechanisms of action are urgently required to combat the growing health threat posed by resistant pathogenic microorganisms. We synthesized a family of peptidomimetic antibiotics based on the antimicrobial peptide protegrin I. Several rounds of optimization gave a lead compound that was active in the nanomolar range against Gram-negative Pseudomonas spp., but was largely inactive against other Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Biochemical and genetic studies showed that the peptidomimetics had a non–membrane-lytic mechanism of action and identified a homolog of the β-barrel protein LptD (Imp/OstA), which functions in outer-membrane biogenesis, as a cellular target. The peptidomimetic showed potent antimicrobial activity in a mouse septicemia infection model. Drug-resistant strains of Pseudomonas are a serious health problem, so this family of antibiotics may have important therapeutic applications.

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