Development of potential broad spectrum antimicrobials using C2-symmetric 9-fluorenone alkyl amine

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16 Scopus citations


DNA-dependent RNA primase is essential for de novo primer synthesis during DNA replication in all living organisms. Bacterial DnaG primase is an attractive target for inhibition because it is essential, low in copy number and structurally distinct from eukaryotic and archaeal primases. DnaG primase is sensitive to known inhibitors including suramin and doxorubicin. Recently, tilorone was discovered by high throughput screening to be an inhibitor of Bacillus anthracis primase DnaG but it failed to reduce the growth of B. anthracis in vitro. In this study we determined that tilorone also inhibited DnaG primase from Staphylococcus aureus. C2-Symmetric fluorenone-based compounds, similar to tilorone chemical structure were synthesized and tested to identify potential lead compounds that inhibit bacterial growth in B. anthracis, MRSA and Burkholderia thailandensis. These compounds were evaluated by determining the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against several different bacterial species which demonstrated 17.5 and 16 μg/ml MIC profiles. Importantly, some of the fluorenone-based compounds with a long carbon chain showed a relatively low MIC against B. anthracis, S. aureus, MRSA, Francisella tularensis, and B. thailandensis, suggesting it may be a promising lead compound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1997-1999
Number of pages3
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016


  • 9-Fluorenone
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Bacterial primase
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Tilorone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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