Siderophore-antibiotic conjugate design: New drugs for bad bugs?

2020-05-22T11:08:03Z (GMT) by KH Negash JKS Norris JT Hodgkinson
Antibiotic resistance is a global health concern and a current threat to modern medicine and society. New strategies for antibiotic drug design and delivery offer a glimmer of hope in a currently limited pipeline of new antibiotics. One strategy involves conjugating iron-chelating microbial siderophores to an antibiotic or antimicrobial agent to enhance uptake and antibacterial potency. Cefiderocol (S-649266) is a promising cephalosporin-catechol conjugate currently in phase III clinical trials that utilizes iron-mediated active transport and demonstrates enhanced potency against multi-drug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative pathogens. Such molecules demonstrate that siderophore-antibiotic conjugates could be important future medicines to add to our antibiotic arsenal. This review is written in the context of the chemical design of siderophore-antibiotic conjugates focusing on the differing siderophore, linker, and antibiotic components that make up conjugates. We selected chemically distinct siderophore-antibiotic conjugates as exemplary conjugates, rather than multiple analogues, to highlight findings to date. The review should offer a general guide to the uninitiated in the molecular design of siderophore-antibiotic conjugates.