Investigation of synergistic antimicrobial effects of the drug combinations of meropenem and 1,2-benzisoselenazol-3(2H)-one derivatives on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae producing NDM-1

Wen Bin Jin, Chen Xu, Qipeng Cheng, Xiao Lin Qi, Wei Gao, Zhiwei Zheng, Edward W.C. Chan, Yun Chung Leung, Tak Hang Chan, Kwok Yin Wong, Sheng Chen, Kin Fai Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The worldwide prevalence of NDM-1-producing bacteria has drastically undermined the clinical efficacy of the last line antibiotic of carbapenems, prompting a need to devise effective strategy to preserve their clinical value. Our previous studies have shown that ebselen can restore the efficacy of meropenem against a laboratory strain that produces NDM-1. Here we report the construction of a focused compound library of 1,2-benzisoselenazol-3(2H)-one derivatives which comprise a total of forty-six candidate compounds. The structure-activity relationship of these compounds and their potential to serve as an adjuvant to enhance the antimicrobial efficacy of meropenem against a collection of clinical NDM-1-producing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae isolates was examined. Drug combination assays indicated that these derivatives exhibited synergistic antimicrobial activity when used along with meropenem, effectively restoring the activity of carbapenems against the resistant strains tested in a Galleria mellonella larvae in vivo infection model. The mode of inhibition of one compound, namely 11_a38, which was depicted when tested on the purified NDM-1 enzyme, indicated that it could covalently bind to the enzyme and displaced one zinc ion from the active site. Overall, this study provides a novel 1,2-benzisoselenazol-3(2H)-one scaffold that exhibits strong synergistic antimicrobial activity with carbapenems, and low cytotoxicity. The prospect of application of such compounds as carbapenem adjuvants warrants further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-302
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018


  • Carbapenem adjuvants
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
  • Drug combination
  • Ebselen derivatives
  • NDM-1 inhibitors
  • Synergistic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

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