Evaluation of Bacterial RNA Polymerase Inhibitors in a Staphylococcus aureus-Based Wound Infection Model in SKH1 Mice

Jörg Haupenthal, Yannik Kautz, Walid A.M. Elgaher, Linda Pätzold, Teresa Röhrig, Matthias W. Laschke, Thomas Tschernig, Anna K.H. Hirsch, Vadim Molodtsov, Katsuhiko S. Murakami, Rolf W. Hartmann, Markus Bischoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chronic wounds infected with pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus represent a worldwide health concern, especially in patients with a compromised immune system. As antimicrobial resistance has become an immense global problem, novel antibiotics are urgently needed. One strategy to overcome this threatening situation is the search for drugs targeting novel binding sites on essential and validated enzymes such as the bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). In this work, we describe the establishment of an in vivo wound infection model based on the pathogen S. aureus and hairless Crl:SKH1-Hrhr (SKH1) mice. The model proved to be a valuable preclinical tool to study selected RNAP inhibitors after topical application. While rifampicin showed a reduction in the loss of body weight induced by the bacteria, an acceleration of wound healing kinetics, and a reduced number of colony forming units in the wound, the ureidothiophene-2-carboxylic acid 1 was inactive under in vivo conditions, probably due to strong plasma protein binding. The cocrystal structure of compound 1 with RNAP, that we hereby also present, will be of great value for applying appropriate structural modifications to further optimize the compound, especially in terms of plasma protein binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2573-2581
Number of pages9
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 9 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases


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