Design and synthesis of potential antimicrobial agents

  • Nasim B. Khan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Tuberculosis is one of the most devastating diseases in the world primarily due to several decades of neglect and an emergence of multidrug-resitance strains (MDR) of M. tuberculosis together with the increased incidence of disseminated infections produced by other mycobacterium in AIDS patients. This has prompted the search for new antimycobacterial drugs. A series of pyridine-2-, pyridine-3-, pyridine-4-, pyrazine and quinoline-2-carboxamidrazone derivatives and new classes of carboxamidrazone were prepared in an automated fashion and by traditional synthesis. Over nine hundred synthesized compounds were screened for their anti mycobacterial activity against M. fortutium (NGTG 10394) as a surrogate for M. tuberculosis. The new classes of amidrazones were also screened against tuberculosis H37 Rv and antimicrobial activities against various bacteria. Fifteen tested compounds were found to provide 90-100% inhibition of mycobacterium growth of M. tuberculosis H37 Rv in the primary screen at 6.25 μg mL-1. The most active compound in the carboxamidrazone amide series had an MIG value of 0.1-2 μg mL-1 against M. fortutium.
The enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) has been a drug-design target for decades. Blocking of the enzymatic activity of DHFR is a key element in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer, bacterial and protozoal infection. The x-ray structure of DHFR from M. tuberculosis and human DHFR were found to have differences in substrate binding site. The presence of glycerol molecule in the Xray structure from M. tuberculosis DHFR provided opportunity to design new antifolates. The new antifolates described herein were designed to retain the pharmcophore of pyrimethamine (2,4- diamino-5(4-chlorophenyl)-6-ethylpyrimidine), but encompassing a range of polar groups that might interact with the M. tuberculosis DHFR glycerol binding pockets.
Finally, the research described in this thesis contributes to the preparation of molecularly imprinted polymers for the recognition of 2,4-diaminopyrimidine for the binding the target. The formation of hydrogen bonding between the model functional monomer 5-(4-tert-butyl-benzylidene)-pyrimidine-2,4,6-trione and 2,4-diaminopyrimidine in the pre-polymerisation stage was verified by 1H-NMR studies. Having proven that 2,4-diaminopyrimidine interacts strongly with the model 5-(4-tert-butylbenzylidene)- pyrimidine-2,4,6-trione, 2,4-diaminopyrimidine-imprinted polymers were prepared using a novel cyclobarbital derived functional monomer, acrylic acid 4-(2,4,6-trioxo-tetrahydro-pyrimidin-5- ylidenemethyl)phenyl ester, capable of multiple hydrogen bond formation with the 2,4- diaminopyrimidine. The recognition property of the respective polymers toward the template and other test compounds was evaluated by fluorescence. The results demonstrate that the polymers showed dose dependent enhancement of fluorescence emissions. In addition, the results also indicate that synthesized MIPs have higher 2,4-diaminopyrimidine binding ability as compared with corresponding non-imprinting polymers.

Date of AwardApr 2007
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDan Rathbone (Supervisor)


  • mycobacreial tuberculosis
  • new classes of carboxamidrazone
  • dihydrofolate reductase
  • molecularly imprinted polymers

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