Designing benign molecules: The influence of O-acetylated glucosamine-substituents on the environmental biodegradability of fluoroquinolones

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschung


Antibiotics are detected worldwide in the aquatic environment, with continuously rising concentrations. Antibiotics in the environment have the potential to damage ecosystems and contribute to the development of resistance. Whilst a few antibiotics, such as some β-lactams, are eliminated by effluent treatment, others, such as fluoroquinolones, are not or just partially removed and enter the environment. Therefore, approaches are needed to tackle those problems at the compound level. Benign by design (BbD), an important part of green pharmacy, has the goal to integrate environmental fate and end-of-use considerations at the very beginning, i.e., into the design of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Hence, pharmaceuticals should be designed to be sufficiently active and stable during storage and usage but should degrade after excretion into the environment, so that they cannot cause any adverse effects. Fluoroquinolones (FQs) are important broad-spectrum antibiotics. They are known to be persistent in the environment and to be neither inactivated nor degraded or even mineralized during sewage treatment. The addition of new substituents via amidation, like glucosamine moieties, at the carboxylic group of FQs, led to better antimicrobial activity compared to its parent compounds against various microorganisms. To investigate if the addition of sugar moieties could improve the overall environmental biodegradability of FQs, eight novel quinolone and fluoroquinolone analogs conjugated with 1,3,4,6-Tetra-O-acetyl-β-d-glucosamine and 2-deoxy-d-glucopyranose have been investigated regarding their ready biodegradability (OECD 301D/F) and their degradation pathways have been analyzed. According to the OECD 301D test, none of the substances could be classified as readily biodegradable. However, the O-acetyl analogs did undergo a partial degradation of the O-acetyl glucosamine moiety, via stepwise deacetylation and the degradation of the whole glucosamine moiety. The degradation resulted in Fluoroquinolone-3-carboxamide derivatives. Those insights could be further used as input for fragment-based design of benign APIs that will degrade once they reached the environment.
AusgabenummerPart 2
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.12.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
S.L. would like to thank the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) for providing a scholarship (reference number 20018/540). G.S would like to acknowledge Mrs. Aya A. M. Mohammed, a M. Sc. student at The University of Jordan who synthesized the FQs-Glucosamine conjugated analogs as part of her M. Sc. project.

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