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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antibacterial activity of synthetic analogues based on the disaccharide structure of moenomycin, an inhibitor of bacterial transglycosylase.

Moenomycin is a natural product glycolipid that inhibits the growth of a broad spectrum of Gram-positive bacteria. In Escherichia coli, moenomycin inhibits peptidoglycan synthesis at the transglycosylation stage, causes accumulation of cell-wall intermediates, and leads to lysis and cell death. However, unlike Esc. coli, where 5-6 log units of killing are observed, 0-2 log units of killing occurred when Gram-positive bacteria were treated with similar multiples of the MIC. In addition, bulk peptidoglycan synthesis in intact Gram-positive cells was resistant to the effects of moenomycin. In contrast, synthetic disaccharides based on the moenomycin disaccharide core structure were identified that were bactericidal to Gram-positive bacteria, inhibited cell-wall synthesis in intact cells, and were active on both sensitive and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. These disaccharide analogues do not inhibit the formation of N:-acetylglucosamine-ss-1, 4-MurNAc-pentapeptide-pyrophosphoryl-undecaprenol (lipid II), but do inhibit the polymerization of lipid II into peptidoglycan in Esc. coli. In addition, cell growth was required for bactericidal activity. The data indicate that synthetic disaccharide analogues of moenomycin inhibit cell-wall synthesis at the transglycosylation stage, and that their activity on Gram-positive bacteria differs from moenomycin due to differential targeting of the transglycosylation process. Inhibition of the transglycosylation process represents a promising approach to the design of new antibacterial agents active on drug-resistant bacteria.[1]


  1. Antibacterial activity of synthetic analogues based on the disaccharide structure of moenomycin, an inhibitor of bacterial transglycosylase. Baizman, E.R., Branstrom, A.A., Longley, C.B., Allanson, N., Sofia, M.J., Gange, D., Goldman, R.C. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (2000) [Pubmed]
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