Inhibitors of bacterial RNA polymerase transcription complex

Publication Name

Bioorganic Chemistry


A series of hybrid compounds that incorporated anthranilic acid with activated 1H-indoles through a glyoxylamide linker were designed to target bacterial RNA polymerase holoenzyme formation using computational docking. Synthesis, in vitro transcription inhibition assays, and biological testing of the hybrids identified a range of potent anti-transcription inhibitors with activity against a range of pathogenic bacteria with MICs as low as 3.1 μM. A structure activity relationship study identified the key structural components necessary for inhibition of both bacterial growth and transcription. Correlation of in vitro transcription inhibition activity with in vivo mechanism of action was established using fluorescence microscopy and resistance passaging using Gram-positive bacteria showed no resistance development over 30 days. Furthermore, no toxicity was observed from the compounds in a wax moth larvae model, establishing a platform for the development of a series of new antibacterial drugs with an established mode of action.

Open Access Status

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Article Number


Funding Sponsor

University of New South Wales



Link to publisher version (DOI)