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Specific Interactions between Rifamycin Antibiotics and Water Influencing Ability To Overcome Natural Cell Barriers and the Range of Antibacterial Potency

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posted on 2019-09-09, 20:46 authored by Krystian Pyta, Anna Janas, Natalia Skrzypczak, Wojciech Schilf, Barbara Wicher, Maria Gdaniec, Franz Bartl, Piotr Przybylski
Rifamycins are a group of macrocyclic antibiotics mainly used for the treatment of various bacterial infections including tuberculosis. Spectroscopic studies of rifamycins evidence the formation of temperature- and solvent-dependent equilibria between A-, B-, and C-type conformers in solutions. The B- and C-type conformers of rifamycin antibiotics are exclusively formed in the presence of water molecules. A- and B-type conformers exhibit a hydrophilic and “open” ansa-bridge nature whereas the C-type conformer is more lipophilic due to the presence of a “closed” ansa-bridge structure. The involvement of the lactam moiety of the ansa-bridge in intramolecular H-bonds within rifapentine and rifampicin implicates the formation of a more hydrophilic A-type conformer. In contrast to rifampicin and rifapentine, for rifabutin and rifaximin, the “free” lactam group enhances conformational flexibility of the ansa-bridge, thereby enabling interconversion between A- and C-type conformers. In turn, an equilibrium between A- and C-type conformers for rifamycins improves their adaptation to the changing nature of bacteria cell membranes, especially those of Gram-negative strains and/or to efflux pump systems.