Antibacterial Activity of Synthetic Cationic Iron Porphyrins.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Widespread antibiotic resistance demands new strategies for fighting infections. Porphyrin-based compounds were long ago introduced as photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy, but light-independent antimicrobial activity of such compounds has not been systematically explored. The results of this study demonstrate that synthetic cationic amphiphilic iron N-alkylpyridylporphyrins exert strong bactericidal action at concentrations as low as 5 μM. Iron porphyrin, FeTnHex-2-PyP, which is well tolerated by laboratory animals, efficiently killed Gram-negative and Gram-positive microorganisms. Its bactericidal activity was oxygen-independent and was controlled by the lipophilicity and accumulation of the compound in bacterial cells. Such behavior is in contrast with the anionic gallium protoporphyrin IX, whose efficacy depends on cellular heme uptake systems. Under aerobic conditions, however, the activity of FeTnHex-2-PyP was limited by its destruction due to redox-cycling. Neither iron released from the Fe-porphyrin nor other decomposition products were the cause of the bactericidal activity. FeTnHex-2-PyP was as efficient against antibiotic-sensitive E. coli and S. aureus as against their antibiotic-resistant counterparts. Our data demonstrate that development of amphiphilic, positively charged metalloporphyrins might be a promising approach in the introduction of new weapons against antibiotic-resistant strains.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tovmasyan, A; Batinic-Haberle, I; Benov, L

Published Date

  • October 10, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 10

PubMed ID

  • 33050461

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7601463

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2076-3921

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/antiox9100972


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland