Bisphosphonic acids as effective inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase

Inhibition of glutamine synthetase (GS) is one of the most promising strategies for the discovery of novel drugs against tuberculosis. Forty-three bisphosphonic and bis-H-phosphinic acids of various scaffolds, bearing aromatic substituents, were screened against recombinant GS from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most of the studied compounds exhibited activities in micromolar range, with N-(3,5-dichlorophenyl)-2-aminoethylidenebisphoshonic acid, N-(3,5-difluorophenyl)-2-aminoethylidene-bisphoshonic acid and N-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1-hydroxy-1,1-ethanebisphosphonic acid showing the highest potency with kinetic parameters similar to the reference compound – L-methionine-S-sulfoximine. Moreover, these inhibitors were found to be much more effective against pathogen enzyme than against the human ortholog. Thus, with the bone-targeting properties of the bisphosphonate compounds in mind, this activity/selectivity profile makes these compounds attractive agents for the treatment of bone tuberculosis.