In the face of the clinical challenge posed by resistant bacteria, the present needs for novel classes of antibiotics are genuine. In silico docking and screening, followed by chemical synthesis of a library of quinazolinones, led to the discovery of (E)-3-(3-carboxyphenyl)-2-(4-cyanostyryl)quinazolin-4(3H)-one (compound 2) as an antibiotic effective in vivo against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This antibiotic impairs cell-wall biosynthesis as documented by functional assays, showing binding of 2 to penicillin-binding protein (PBP) 2a. We document that the antibiotic also inhibits PBP1 of S. aureus, indicating a broad targeting of structurally similar PBPs by this antibiotic. This class of antibiotics holds promise in fighting MRSA infections.
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© 2015 American Chemical Society.