Iron metabolism in the cell as a target in the development of potential antimicrobial and antiviral agents

Blagodarov S.V.1 , Zheltukhina G.A.1, Nebolsin V.E.2

1. MIREA — Russian Technological University (MITHT), Moscow, Russia; LLC “Pharmenterprises”, Moscow, Russia
2. LLC “Pharmenterprises”, Moscow, Russia
Section: Review
DOI: 10.18097/PBMC20236904199      PubMed Id: 37705481
Year: 2023  Volume: 69  Issue: 4  Pages: 199-218
The search and creation of innovative antimicrobial drugs, acting against resistant and multiresistant strains of bacteria and fungi, are one of the most important tasks of modern bioorganic chemistry and pharmaceuticals. Since iron is essential for the vital activity of almost all organisms, including mammals and bacteria, the proteins involved in its metabolism can serve as potential targets in the development of new promising antimicrobial agents. Such targets include endogenous mammalian biomolecules, heme oxygenases, siderophores, protein 24p3, as well as bacterial heme oxygenases and siderophores. Other proteins that are responsible for the delivery of iron to cells and its balance between bacteria and the host organism also attract certain particular interest. The review summarizes data on the development of inhibitors and inducers (activators) of heme oxygenases, selective for mammals and bacteria, and considers the characteristic features of their mechanisms of action and structure. Based on the reviewed literature data, it was concluded that the use of hemin, the most powerful hemooxygenase inducer, and its derivatives as potential antimicrobial and antiviral agents, in particular against COVID-19 and other dangerous infections, would be a promising approach. In this case, an important role is attributed to the products of hemin degradation formed by heme oxygenases in vitro and in vivo. Certain attention has been paid to the data on the antimicrobial action of iron-free protoporphyrinates, namely complexes with Co, Ga, Zn, Mn, their advantages and disadvantages compared to hemin. Modification of the well-known antibiotic ceftazidime with a siderophore molecule increased its effectiveness against resistant bacteria.
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Keywords: iron, heme oxygenase, siderophores, antibacterial and antiviral activity, hemin, protein 24p3

Blagodarov, S. V., Zheltukhina, G. A., Nebolsin, V. E. (2023). Iron metabolism in the cell as a target in the development of potential antimicrobial and antiviral agents. Biomeditsinskaya Khimiya, 69(4), 199-218.
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