Vancomycin-Lipopeptide Conjugates with High Antimicrobial Activity on Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci
Multidrug-resistant bacteria represent one of the most important health care problems worldwide. While there are numerous drugs available for standard therapy, there are only a few compounds capable of serving as a last resort for severe infections. Therefore, approaches to control multidrug-resistant bacteria must be implemented. Here, a strategy of reactivating the established glycopeptide antibiotic vancomycin by structural modification with polycationic peptides and subsequent fatty acid
... jugation to overcome the resistance of multidrug-resistant bacteria was followed. This study especially focuses on the structure–activity relationship, depending on the modification site and fatty acid chain length. The synthesized conjugates showed high antimicrobial potential on vancomycin-resistant enterococci. We were able to demonstrate that the antimicrobial activity of the vancomycin-lipopeptide conjugates depends on the chain length of the attached fatty acid. All conjugates showed good cytocompatibility in vitro and in vivo. Radiolabeling enabled the in vivo determination of pharmacokinetics in Wistar rats by molecular imaging and biodistribution studies. An improved biodistribution profile in comparison to unmodified vancomycin was observed. While vancomycin is rapidly excreted by the kidneys, the most potent conjugate shows a hepatobiliary excretion profile. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the potential of the structural modification of already established antibiotics to provide highly active compounds for tackling multidrug-resistant bacteria.