Charged Nonclassical Antifolates with Activity Against Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Pathogens

Eric Scocchera, Stephanie M. Reeve, Santosh Keshipeddy, Michael N. Lombardo, Behnoush Hajian, Adrienne E. Sochia, Jeremy B. Alverson, Nigel D. Priestley, Amy C. Anderson, Dennis L. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Although classical, negatively charged antifolates such as methotrexate possess high affinity for the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme, they are unable to penetrate the bacterial cell wall, rendering them poor antibacterial agents. Herein, we report a new class of charged propargyl-linked antifolates that capture some of the key contacts common to the classical antifolates while maintaining the ability to passively diffuse across the bacterial cell wall. Eight synthesized compounds exhibit extraordinary potency against Gram-positive S. aureus with limited toxicity against mammalian cells and good metabolic profile. High resolution crystal structures of two of the compounds reveal extensive interactions between the carboxylate and active site residues through a highly organized water network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-696
Number of pages5
JournalACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 14 2016


  • Dihydrofolate reductase
  • Escherichia coli
  • MRSA
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • antifolate
  • methotrexate
  • trimethoprim


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