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Tropolone emerged from the screening of a chelator fragment library (CFL) as an inhibitor of the Zn(2+)-dependent virulence factor, Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase (LasB). Based on this initial hit, a series of substituted tropolone-based LasB inhibitors was prepared, and a compound displaying potent activity in vitro and in a bacterial swarming assay was identified. Importantly, this inhibitor was found to be specific for LasB over other metalloenzymes, validating the usage of tropolone as a viable scaffold for identifying first-in-class LasB inhibitors.


Jessica L Fullagar, Amanda L Garner, Anjali K Struss, Joshua A Day, David P Martin, Jing Yu, Xiaoqing Cai, Kim D Janda, Seth M Cohen. Antagonism of a zinc metalloprotease using a unique metal-chelating scaffold: tropolones as inhibitors of P. aeruginosa elastase. Chemical communications (Cambridge, England). 2013 Apr 21;49(31):3197-9

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PMID: 23482955

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