Antitubercular 2-Pyrazolylpyrimidinones: Structure–Activity Relationship and Mode-of-Action Studies

Candice Soares de Melo, Vinayak Singh, Alissa Myrick, Sandile B. Simelane, Dale Taylor, Christel Brunschwig, Nina Lawrence, Dirk Schnappinger, Curtis A. Engelhart, Anuradha Kumar, Tanya Parish, Qin Su, Timothy G. Myers, Helena I. M. Boshoff, Clifton E. Barry III, Frederick A. Sirgel, Paul D. van Helden, Kirsteen I. Buchanan, Tracy Bayliss, Simon R. Green, Peter C. Ray, Paul G. Wyatt, Gregory S. Basarab, Charles J. Eyermann, Kelly Chibale, and Sandeep R. Ghorpade.

J. Med. Chem. 2021, 64, 1, 719–740 Publication Date:January 4, 2021


Phenotypic screening of a Medicines for Malaria Venture compound library against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) identified a cluster of pan-active 2-pyrazolylpyrimidinones. The biology triage of these actives using various tool strains of Mtb suggested a novel mechanism of action. The compounds were bactericidal against replicating Mtb and retained potency against clinical isolates of Mtb. Although selected MmpL3 mutant strains of Mtb showed resistance to these compounds, there was no shift in the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against a mmpL3 hypomorph, suggesting mutations in MmpL3 as a possible resistance mechanism for the compounds but not necessarily as the target. RNA transcriptional profiling and the checkerboard board 2D-MIC assay in the presence of varying concentrations of ferrous salt indicated perturbation of the Fe-homeostasis by the compounds. Structure–activity relationship studies identified potent compounds with good physicochemical properties and in vitro microsomal metabolic stability with moderate selectivity over cytotoxicity against mammalian cell lines.