An antibiotic preorganized for ribosomal binding overcomes antimicrobial resistance.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Science, Volume 383, Issue 6684, p.721-726 (2024)


Animals, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bridged-Ring Compounds, Drug Design, Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial, Erythromycin, Escherichia coli, Lincosamides, Mice, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Oxepins, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Ribosomes, Staphylococcus aureus


<p>We report the design conception, chemical synthesis, and microbiological evaluation of the bridged macrobicyclic antibiotic cresomycin (CRM), which overcomes evolutionarily diverse forms of antimicrobial resistance that render modern antibiotics ineffective. CRM exhibits in vitro and in vivo efficacy against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains of , , and . We show that CRM is highly preorganized for ribosomal binding by determining its density functional theory-calculated, solution-state, solid-state, and (wild-type) ribosome-bound structures, which all align identically within the macrobicyclic subunits. Lastly, we report two additional x-ray crystal structures of CRM in complex with bacterial ribosomes separately modified by the ribosomal RNA methylases, chloramphenicol-florfenicol resistance (Cfr) and erythromycin-resistance ribosomal RNA methylase (Erm), revealing concessive adjustments by the target and antibiotic that permit CRM to maintain binding where other antibiotics fail.</p>

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