Lead optimization generates selenium-containing miconazole CYP51 inhibitors with improved pharmacological profile for the treatment of fungal infections

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry(2021)

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A series of selenium-containing miconazole derivatives were identified as potent antifungal drugs in our previous study. Representative compound A03 (MIC = 0.01 μg/mL against C.alb. 5314) proved efficacious in inhibiting the growth of fungal pathogens. However, further study showed lead compound A03 exhibited potential hemolysis, significant cytotoxic effect and unfavorable metabolic stability and was therefore modified to overcome these drawbacks. In this article, the further optimization of selenium-containing miconazole derivatives resulted in the discovery of similarly potent compound B17 (MIC = 0.02 μg/mL against C.alb. 5314), exhibiting a superior pharmacological profile with decreased rate of metabolism, cytotoxic effect and hemolysis. Furthermore, compound B17 showed fungicidal activity against Candida albicans and significant effects on the treatment of resistant Candida albicans infections. Meanwhile, compound B17 not only could reduce the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway by inhibiting CYP51, but also inhibited biofilm formation. More importantly, compound B17 also shows promising in vivo efficacy after intraperitoneal injection and the PK study of compound B17 was evaluated. In addition, molecular docking studies provide a model for the interaction between the compound B17 and the CYP51 protein. Overall, we believe that these selenium-containing miconazole compounds can be further developed for the potential treatment of fungal infections.
Miconazole,Selenium,Antifungal,Superior pharmacological profile,CYP51
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