Triphenilphosphonium analogs of chloramphenicol as dual-acting antimicrobial and antiproliferating agents

Julia A. Pavlova, Zimfira Z. Khairullina, Andrey G. Tereshchenkov, Pavel A. Nazarov, Dmitrii A. Lukianov, Inna A. Volynkina, Dmitry A. Skvortsov, Gennady I. Makarov, Etna Abad, Somay Y. Murayama, Susumu Kajiwara, Alena Paleskava, Andrey L. Konevega, Yuri N. Antonenko, Alex Lyakhovich, Ilya A. Osterman, Alexey A. Bogdanov, Natalia V. Sumbatyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In the current work, in continuation of our recent research, we synthesized and studied new chimeric compounds, including the ribosome-targeting antibiotic chloramphenicol (CHL) and the membrane-penetrating cation triphenylphosphonium (TPP), which are linked by alkyl groups of different lengths. Using various biochemical assays, we showed that these CAM-Cn-TPP compounds bind to the bacterial ribosome, inhibit protein synthesis in vitro and in vivo in a way similar to that of the parent CHL, and significantly reduce membrane potential. Similar to CAM-C4-TPP, the mode of action of CAM-C10-TPP and CAM-C14-TPP in bacterial ribosomes differs from that of CHL. By simulating the dynamics of CAM-Cn-TPP complexes with bacterial ribosomes, we proposed a possible explanation for the specificity of the action of these analogs in the translation process. CAM-C10-TPP and CAM-C14-TPP more strongly inhibit the growth of the Gram-positive bacteria, as compared to CHL, and suppress some CHL-resistant bacterial strains. Thus, we have shown that TPP derivatives of CHL are dual-acting compounds targeting both the ribosomes and cellular membranes of bacteria. The TPP fragment of CAM-Cn-TPP compounds has an inhibitory effect on bacteria. Moreover, since the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells possess qualities similar to those of their prokaryotic ancestors, we demonstrate the possibility of targeting chemoresistant cancer cells with these compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number489
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Alkyl(triphenyl)phosphonium
  • Antibiotic activity
  • Antiproliferative activity
  • Bacterial ribosome
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Molecular dynamics simulations


Dive into the research topics of 'Triphenilphosphonium analogs of chloramphenicol as dual-acting antimicrobial and antiproliferating agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this