Published on Wed Sep 29 2021

Exploration of BAY 11-7082 as a novel antibiotic

Coles, V. E., Darveau, P., Zhang, X., Harvey, H., Henriksbo, B. D., Yang, A., Schertzer, J., Magolan, J., Burrows, L. L.

Anti-inflammatory compound BAY 11-7082 induced dose-dependent biofilm stimulation, indicative of antibacterial activity. We synthesized 27 structural analogues, including a series based on the related scaffold 3-(phenylsulfonyl)-2-pyrazinecarbonitrile.

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Abstract

Exposure of the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics increases formation of biofilms. We exploited this phenotype to identify molecules with potential antimicrobial activity in a biofilm-based high-throughput screen. The anti-inflammatory compound BAY 11-7082 induced dose-dependent biofilm stimulation, indicative of antibacterial activity. We confirmed that BAY 11-7082 inhibits growth of P. aeruginosa and other priority pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We synthesized 27 structural analogues, including a series based on the related scaffold 3-(phenylsulfonyl)-2-pyrazinecarbonitrile (PSPC), 10 of which displayed increased anti-Staphylococcal activity. Because the parent molecule inhibits the NLR Family Pyrin Domain Containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, we measured the ability of select analogues to reduce IL-1{beta} production in mammalian macrophages, identifying minor differences in the structure-activity relationship for the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of this scaffold. Although we could evolve stably resistant MRSA mutants with cross resistance to BAY 11-7082 and PSPC, their lack of shared mutations suggested that the two molecules could have multiple targets. Finally, we showed that BAY 11-7082 and its analogues potentiate the activity of penicillin G against MRSA, suggesting that this scaffold may serve as an interesting starting point for the development of antibiotic adjuvants.