Development of Hydroxamic Acid Compounds for Inhibition of Metallo-β-Lactamase from Bacillus anthracis

Andrew E. Huckleby, Jhawn G. Saul, Hyunshun Shin, Staci Desmarais, Apparao Bokka, Junha Jeon, Sung Kun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The emergence of resistant bacteria takes place, endangering the effectiveness of antibiotics. A reason for antibiotic resistance is the presence of lactamases that catalyze the hydrolysis of β-lactam antibiotics. An inhibitor of serine-β-lactamases such as clavulanic acid binds to the active site of the enzymes, thus solving the resistance problem. A pressing issue, however, is that the reaction mechanism of metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) hydrolyzing β-lactam antibiotics differs from that of serine-β-lactamases due to the existence of zinc ions in the active site of MBLs. Thus, the development of potential inhibitors for MBLs remains urgent. Here, the ability to inhibit MBL from Bacillus anthracis (Bla2) was investigated in silico and in vitro using compounds possessing two hydroxamate functional groups such as 3-chloro-N-hydroxy-4-(7-(hydroxyamino)-7-oxoheptyl)benzamide (Compound 4) and N-hydroxy-4-(7-(hydroxyamino)-7-oxoheptyl)-3-methoxybenzamide (Compound 6). In silico docking and molecular dynamics simulations revealed that both Compounds 4 and 6 were coordinated with zinc ions in the active site, suggesting that the hydroxamate group attached to the aromatic ring of the compound plays a crucial role in the coordination to the zinc ions. In vitro kinetic analysis demonstrated that the mode of inhibitions for Compounds 4 and 6 were a competitive inhibition with Ki values of 6.4 ± 1.7 and 4.7 ± 1.4 kcal/mol, respectively. The agreement between in silico and in vitro investigations indicates that compounds containing dihyroxamate moieties may offer a new avenue to overcome antibiotic resistance to bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9163
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • enzyme kinetics
  • hydroxamate
  • inhibition
  • lactamase
  • molecular dynamics


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