In the current work, in continuation of our recent research  we synthesized and studied new chimeric compounds comprising the ribosome-targeting antibiotic chloramphenicol (CHL) and the membrane-penetrating cation triphenylphosphonium (TPP) connected by alkyl linkers 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 decrease membrane potential. Similar to CAM-C4-TPP, the mode of action of CAM-C10-TPP and CAM-C14-TPP on bacterial ribosomes differ from that of CHL. By simulating the dynamics of complexes of CAM-Cn-TPP with bacterial ribosomes, we have proposed a possible explanation for the specificity of the action of these analogs on the translation process. CAM-C10-TPP and CAM-C14-TPP stronger inhibit the growth of the Gram-positive bacteria in comparison to the CHL and suppress some strains of CHL-resistant bacteria. Thus, we have shown that TPP derivatives of CHL are dual-acting compounds that target the ribosomes and the cellular membranes of bacteria. The TPP fragment of CAM-Cn-TPP compounds contributes to the inhibitory effect on bacteria. Moreover, since the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells have qualities similar to those of their prokaryotic ancestors, we demonstrate the possibility of targeting chemoresistant cancer cells with these compounds.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.