Antimicrobial Activity, AME Resistance, and A-Site Binding Studies of Anthraquinone-Neomycin Conjugates

Natalya N. Degtyareva, Changjun Gong, Sandra Story, Nathanael S. Levinson, Adegboyega K. Oyelere, Keith D. Green, Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, Dev P. Arya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The antibacterial effects of aminoglycosides are based on their association with the A-site of bacterial rRNA and interference with the translational process in the bacterial cell, causing cell death. The clinical use of aminoglycosides is complicated by resistance and side effects, some of which arise from their interactions with the human mitochondrial 12S rRNA and its deafness-associated mutations, C1494U and A1555G. We report a rapid assay that allows screening of aminoglycoside compounds to these classes of rRNAs. These screening tools are important to find antibiotics that selectively bind to the bacterial A-site rather than human, mitochondrial A-sites and its mutant homologues. Herein, we report our preliminary work on the optimization of this screen using 12 anthraquinone-neomycin (AMA-NEO) conjugates against molecular constructs representing five A-site homologues, Escherichia coli, human cytosolic, mitochondrial, C1494U, and A1555G, using a fluorescent displacement screening assay. These conjugates were also tested for inhibition of protein synthesis, antibacterial activity against 14 clinically relevant bacterial strains, and the effect on enzymes that inactivate aminoglycosides. The AMA-NEO conjugates demonstrated significantly improved resistance against aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes (AMEs), as compared with NEO. Several compounds exhibited significantly greater inhibition of prokaryotic protein synthesis as compared to NEO and were extremely poor inhibitors of eukaryotic translation. There was significant variation in antibacterial activity and MIC of selected compounds between bacterial strains, with Escherichia coli, Enteroccocus faecalis, Citrobacter freundii, Shigella flexneri, Serratia marcescens, Proteus mirabilis, Enterobacter cloacae, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Listeria monocytogenes exhibiting moderate to high sensitivity (50-100% growth inhibition) whereas Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiellla pneumoniae, and MRSA strains expressed low sensitivity, as compared to the parent aminoglycoside NEO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-215
Number of pages10
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • aminoglycoside modifying enzymes
  • antibacterial activity
  • translation inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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