Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.
2009, 19(5), pp 1376-1379
The Van enzymes are ATP-dependant ligases responsible for resistance to vancomycin in Staphylococcus aureus and Enteroccoccus species. The de novo molecular design programme SPROUT was used in conjunction with the X-ray crystal structure of Enterococcus faecium d-alanyl-d-lactate ligase (VanA) to design new putative inhibitors based on a hydroxyethylamine template. The two best ranked structures were selected and efficient syntheses developed. The inhibitory activities of these molecules were determined on E. faecium VanA, and due to structural similarity and a common reaction mechanism, also on d-Ala-d-Ala ligase (DdlB) from Escherichia coli. The phosphate group attached to the hydroxyl moiety of the hydroxyethylamine isostere within these systems is essential for their inhibitory activity against both VanA and DdlB.