Discovery of chromene compounds as inhibitors of PvdQ acylase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Jan G T Vogel, Joko P Wibowo, Hillina Fan, Rita Setroikromo, Kan Wang, Alexander Dömling, Frank J Dekker, Wim J Quax*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The acquisition of iron is a crucial mechanism for the survival of pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa in eukaryotic hosts. The key iron chelator in this organism is the siderophore pyoverdine, which was shown to be crucial for iron homeostasis. Pyoverdine is a non-ribosomal peptide with several maturation steps in the cytoplasm and others in the periplasmatic space. A key enzyme for its maturation is the acylase PvdQ. The inhibition of PvdQ stops the maturation of pyoverdine causing a significant imbalance in the iron homeostasis and hence can negatively influence the survival of P. aeruginosa. In this work, we successfully synthesized chromene-derived inhibitory molecules targeting PvdQ in a low micromolar range. In silico modeling as well as kinetic evaluations of the inhibitors suggest a competitive inhibition of the PvdQ function. Further, we evaluated the inhibitor in vivo on P. aeruginosa cells and report a dose-dependent reduction of pyoverdine formation. The compound also showed a protecting effect in a Galleria mellonella infection model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105017
Number of pages29
JournalMicrobes and infection
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13-Jun-2022

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