Avibactam is a diazabicyclooctane β-lactamase inhibitor possessing outstanding but incomplete efficacy against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens in combination with β-lactam antibiotics. Significant pharmaceutical investment in generating derivatives of avibactam warrants a thorough characterization of their activity. We show here through structural and kinetic analysis that select diazabicyclooctane derivatives display effective but varied inhibition of two clinically important β-lactamases (CTX-M-15 and OXA-48). Furthermore, these derivatives exhibit considerable antimicrobial activity (MIC ≤ 2 μg/mL) against clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Enterobacter spp. Imaging of cell phenotype along with structural and biochemical experiments unambiguously demonstrate that this activity, in E. coli, is a result of targeting penicillin-binding protein 2. Our results suggest that structure-activity relationship studies for the purpose of drug discovery must consider both β-lactamases and penicillin-binding proteins as targets. We believe that this approach will yield next-generation combination or monotherapies with an expanded spectrum of activity against currently untreatable Gram-negative pathogens.


King AM, King DT, French S, Brouillette E, Asli A, Alexander JA, Vuckovic M, Maiti SN, Parr TR Jr, Brown ED, Malouin F, Strynadka NC, Wright GD.


ACS Chem Biol. 2016 Apr 15;11(4):864-8. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.5b00944. Epub 2016 Jan 14.