Nanomolar inhibitors of AmpC β-lactamase

Federica Morandi, Emilia Caselli, Stefania Morandi, Pamela J. Focia, Jesús Blázquez, Brian K. Shoichet*, Fabio Prati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


β-lactamases are the most widespread resistance mechanism to β-lactam antibiotics, such as the penicillins and the cephalosporins. In an effort to combat these enzymes, a combination of stereoselective organic synthesis, enzymology, microbiology, and X-ray crystallography was used to design and evaluate new carboxyphenyl-glycylboronic acid transition-state analogue inhibitors of the class C β-lactamase AmpC. The new compounds improve inhibition by over 2 orders of magnitude compared to analogous glycylboronic acids, with Ki values as low as 1 nM. On the basis of the differential binding of different analogues, the introduced carboxylate alone contributes about 2.1 kcal/mol in affinity. This carboxylate corresponds to the ubiquitous C3(4)′ carboxylate of β-lactams, and this energy represents the first thermodynamic measurement of the importance of this group in molecular recognition by class C β-lactamases. The structures of AmpC in complex with two of these inhibitors were determined by X-ray crystallography at 1.72 and 1.83 Å resolution. These structures suggest a structural basis for the high affinity of the new compounds and provide templates for further design. The highest affinity inhibitor was 5 orders of magnitude more selective for AmpC than for characteristic serine proteases, such as chymotrypsin. This inhibitor reversed the resistance of clinical pathogens to the third generation cephalosporin ceftazidime; it may serve as a lead compound for drug discovery to combat bacterial resistance to β-lactam antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-695
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 22 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Nanomolar inhibitors of AmpC β-lactamase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this