References of "Luxen, André"
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See detailUse of a beta microprobe system to measure arterial input function in PET via an arteriovenous shunt in rats
Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Goblet, David ULg et al

in European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Research (2011), 1

Kinetic modeling of physiological function using imaging techniques requires the accurate measurement of the time-activity curve of the tracer in plasma, known as the arterial input function (IF). The ... [more ▼]

Kinetic modeling of physiological function using imaging techniques requires the accurate measurement of the time-activity curve of the tracer in plasma, known as the arterial input function (IF). The measurement of IF can be achieved through manual blood sampling, the use of small counting systems such as beta microprobes, or by derivation from PET images. Previous studies using beta microprobe systems to continuously measure IF have suffered from high background counts. In the present study, a light-insensitive beta microprobe with a temporal resolution of up to 1 s was used in combination with a pump-driven femoral arteriovenous shunt to measure IF in rats. The shunt apparatus was designed such that the placement of the beta microprobe was highly reproducible. The probe-derived IF was compared to that obtained from manual sampling at 5-s intervals and IF derived from a left ventricle VOI in a dynamic PET image of the heart. Probe-derived IFs were very well matched to that obtained by "gold standard" manual blood sampling, but with an increased temporal resolution of up to 1 s. The area under the curve (AUC) ratio between probe- and manually derived IFs was 1.07 ± 0.05 with a coefficient of variation of 0.04. However, image-derived IFs were significantly underestimated compared to the manually sampled IFs, with an AUC ratio of 0.76 ± 0.24 with a coefficient of variation of 0.32. IF derived from the beta microprobe accurately represented the IF as measured by blood sampling, was reproducible, and was more accurate than an image-derived technique. The use of the shunt removed problems of tissue-background activity, and the use of a light-tight probe with minimal gamma sensitivity refined the system. The probe/shunt apparatus can be used in both microprobe and PET studies. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign and synthesis of novel DOTA(Gd3+)–polymer conjugates as potential MRI contrast agents
Grogna, Mathurin ULg; Cloots, Rudi ULg; Luxen, André ULg et al

in Journal of Materials Chemistry (2011), 21(34), 12917-12926

Conventional low molecular weight gadolinium based Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agents such as Magnevist® are very useful for imaging tissues. However, at the high magnetic fields used in ... [more ▼]

Conventional low molecular weight gadolinium based Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agents such as Magnevist® are very useful for imaging tissues. However, at the high magnetic fields used in modern MRI equipments, their relaxivity (contrasting efficiency) is rather poor. The grafting of the gadolinium complex onto macromolecules is a way to enhance their relaxivity provided that the rotational motion of the complex is decreased significantly. Here we report the design of novel Gd3+ based MRI contrast agents with improved relaxivity and potential long blood circulation life-time. We investigate the grafting of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7-triacetic acid, 1,4,7-tris(1,1-dimethylethyl) ester (DO3AtBu-NH2; a precursor of Gd3+ ligand) onto well-defined functional copolymers bearing activated esters (succinimidyl esters) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) chains required for stealthiness. The tert-butyl groups of grafted DO3AtBu-NH2 are then deprotected by trifluoroacetic acid followed by complexation of Gd3+. Addition of free DOTA at the end of the reaction is necessary to leave the pure and stable water soluble macrocontrast agent. Importantly it shows a relaxivity at high frequencies that is 300% higher than that of the ungrafted gadolinium complex. These novel functional copolymers are therefore promising candidates as macromolecular contrast agents for MRI applications. [less ▲]

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See detailUnexpected tricovalent binding mode of boronic acids within the active site of a penicillin binding protein.
Zervosen, Astrid ULg; Herman, Raphaël ULg; Kerff, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of the American Chemical Society (2011)

Boronic acids bearing appropriate side chains are good inhibitors of serine amidohydrolases. The boron usually adopts a tetrahedral conformation, bound to the nucleophilic serine of the active site and ... [more ▼]

Boronic acids bearing appropriate side chains are good inhibitors of serine amidohydrolases. The boron usually adopts a tetrahedral conformation, bound to the nucleophilic serine of the active site and mimicking the transition state of the enzymatic reaction. We have solved the structures of complexes of a penicillin-binding protein, the DD-peptidase from Actinomadura sp. R39, with four amidomethylboronic acids (2,6 dimethoxybenzamidomethylboronic acid, phenylacetamidomethylboronic acid, 2-chlorobenzamidomethylboronic acid, and 2-nitrobenzamidomethylboronic acid) and the pinacol ester derived from phenylacetamidomethylboronic acid. We found that, in each case, the boron forms a tricovalent adduct with Ogamma of Ser49, Ser298, and the terminal amine group of Lys410, three key residues involved in the catalytic mechanism of penicillin-binding proteins. This represents the first tricovalent enzyme-inhibitor adducts observed by crystallography. In two of the five R39-boronate structures, the boronic acid is found as a tricovalent adduct in two monomers of the asymmetric unit and as a monocovalent adduct with the active serine in the two remaining monomers of the asymmetric unit. Formation of the tricovalent complex from a classical monocovalent complex may involve rotation around the Ser49 Calpha-Cbeta bond to place the boron in a position to interact with Ser298 and Lys410, and a twisting of the side chain amide such that its carbonyl oxygen is able to hydrogen bond to the oxyanion hole NH of Thr413. Biphasic kinetics were observed in three of the five cases and details of the reaction between R39 and 2,6-dimethoxybenzamidomethylboronic acid were studied. Observation of biphasic kinetics was not, however, thought to be correlated to formation of tricovalent complexes, assuming that the latter do form in solution. Based on the crystallographic and kinetic results, a reaction scheme for this unexpected inhibition by boronic acids is proposed. [less ▲]

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See detail[18F]fallypride binding in the mouse brain: test-retest and effects of registration
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Geuzaine, Annabelle ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg et al

Conference (2011, January 17)

The quantification of in vivo receptor kinetics with PET tracer experiments is an intricate and challenging problem especially for small animals such as rats and mice. A test-retest scan is usually set up ... [more ▼]

The quantification of in vivo receptor kinetics with PET tracer experiments is an intricate and challenging problem especially for small animals such as rats and mice. A test-retest scan is usually set up in order to confirm an observed experimental effect or to examine the reliability of the experiment design. Inadequate processing of the image data may also mask small effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of image registration on [18F]fallypride binding potentials calculated from PET mouse test-retest data. Sub-optimal registration affected the quantification of in vivo receptor kinetics with [18F]fallypride. The absence of anatomical information in the [18F]fallypride image and the lack of a homogeneous tracer distribution, even during the earlier minutes of the scan, lead to erroneous automatic registration. A FDG scan after each [18F]fallypride test could improve registration as FDG provides a more homogeneous brain image. Variability in the data could also result from stress induced by anaesthesia or the experimental environment. [less ▲]

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See detailImage Quality evaluation for 124I in the microPET Focus 120 scanner using the NEMA NU4-2008 phantom
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Taleb, Dounia ULg et al

Conference (2011, January 17)

Physical properties of iodine-124 such as its high positron energy, corresponding large positron range in tissue and the fraction of the single γ-photons emitted may have detrimental effects on the PET ... [more ▼]

Physical properties of iodine-124 such as its high positron energy, corresponding large positron range in tissue and the fraction of the single γ-photons emitted may have detrimental effects on the PET image quality. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the image quality for iodine-124 in the small animal microPET Focus 120 scanner using the NEMA NU4-2008 image quality phantom. Although the 2 ns timing window gives higher recovery coefficients and slightly lower spill-over ratios and combined with the 350-590 keV energy window gives the lowest spill-over ratio, the combination of the 350-650 keV and 6 ns windows seems to be the best compromise to obtain images with high contrast and low noise content. [less ▲]

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See detailSleep contributes to the strengthening of some memories over others, depending on hippocampal activity at learning.
Rauchs, Géraldine; Feyers, Dorothée ULg; Landeau, Brigitte et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (2011), 31(7), 2563-2568

Memory consolidation benefits from sleep. Besides strengthening some memory traces, another crucial, albeit overlooked, function of memory is also to erase irrelevant information. Directed forgetting is ... [more ▼]

Memory consolidation benefits from sleep. Besides strengthening some memory traces, another crucial, albeit overlooked, function of memory is also to erase irrelevant information. Directed forgetting is an experimental approach consisting in presenting “to be remembered” and “to be forgotten” information, that allows selectively decreasing or increasing the strength of individual memory traces according to the instruction provided at learning. This paradigm was used in combination with fMRI to determine, in Humans, what specifically triggers at encoding sleep-dependent compared to time-dependent consolidation. Our data indicate that relevant items which subjects strived to memorize are consolidated during sleep to a greater extend than items that participants did not intend to learn. This process appears to depend on a differential activation of the hippocampus at encoding, which acts as a signal for the offline reprocessing of relevant memories during post-learning sleep episodes. [less ▲]

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See detail"Relevance vector machine" consciousness classifier applied to cerebral metabolism of vegetative and locked-in patients.
Phillips, Christophe ULg; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie ULg; Maquet, Pierre ULg et al

in NeuroImage (2011), 56(2), 797808

The vegetative state is a devastating condition where patients awaken from their coma (i.e., open their eyes) but fail to show any behavioural sign of conscious awareness. Locked-in syndrome patients also ... [more ▼]

The vegetative state is a devastating condition where patients awaken from their coma (i.e., open their eyes) but fail to show any behavioural sign of conscious awareness. Locked-in syndrome patients also awaken from their coma and are unable to show any motor response to command (except for small eye movements or blinks) but recover full conscious awareness of self and environment. Bedside evaluation of residual cognitive function in coma survivors often is difficult because motor responses may be very limited or inconsistent. We here aimed to disentangle vegetative from "locked-in" patients by an automatic procedure based on machine learning using fluorodeoxyglucose PET data obtained in 37 healthy controls and in 13 patients in a vegetative state. Next, the trained machine was tested on brain scans obtained in 8 patients with locked-in syndrome. We used a sparse probabilistic Bayesian learning framework called "relevance vector machine" (RVM) to classify the scans. The trained RVM classifier, applied on an input scan, returns a probability value (p-value) of being in one class or the other, here being "conscious" or not. Training on the control and vegetative state groups was assessed with a leave-one-out cross-validation procedure, leading to 100% classification accuracy. When applied on the locked-in patients, all scans were classified as "conscious" with a mean p-value of .95 (min .85). In conclusion, even with this relatively limited data set, we could train a classifier distinguishing between normal consciousness (i.e., wakeful conscious awareness) and the vegetative state (i.e., wakeful unawareness). Cross-validation also indicated that the clinical classification and the one predicted by the automatic RVM classifier were in accordance. Moreover, when applied on a third group of "locked-in" consciously aware patients, they all had a strong probability of being similar to the normal controls, as expected. Therefore, RVM classification of cerebral metabolic images obtained in coma survivors could become a useful tool for the automated PET-based diagnosis of altered states of consciousness. [less ▲]

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See detailStructure Guided Development of Potent Reversibly Binding Penicillin Binding Protein Inhibitors
Woon, Esther C. Y.; Zervosen, Astrid ULg; Sauvage, Eric ULg et al

in ACS Medicinal Chemistry letters (2011), 2 (3)

Following from the evaluation of different types of electrophiles, combined modeling and crystallographic analyses are used to generate potent boronic acid based inhibitors of a penicillin binding protein ... [more ▼]

Following from the evaluation of different types of electrophiles, combined modeling and crystallographic analyses are used to generate potent boronic acid based inhibitors of a penicillin binding protein. The results suggest that a structurally informed approach to penicillin binding protein inhibition will be useful for the development of both improved reversibly binding inhibitors, including boronic acids, and acylating inhibitors, such as β-lactams. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo distinct neuronal networks mediate the awareness of environment and of self
Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ULg; Demertzi, Athina ULg; Schabus, Manuel et al

in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2011), 23(3), 570-578

Evidence from functional neuroimaging studies on resting state suggests that there are two distinct anticorrelated cortical systems that mediate conscious awareness: an "extrinsic" system that encompasses ... [more ▼]

Evidence from functional neuroimaging studies on resting state suggests that there are two distinct anticorrelated cortical systems that mediate conscious awareness: an "extrinsic" system that encompasses lateral fronto-parietal areas and has been linked with processes of external input (external awareness), and an "intrinsic" system which encompasses mainly medial brain areas and has been associated with internal processes (internal awareness). The aim of our study was to explore the neural correlates of resting state by providing behavioral and neuroimaging data from healthy volunteers. With no a priori assumptions, we first determined behaviorally the relationship between external and internal awareness in 31 subjects. We found a significant anticorrelation between external and internal awareness with a mean switching frequency of 0.05 Hz (range: 0.01-0.1 Hz). Interestingly, this frequency is similar to BOLD fMRI slow oscillations. We then evaluated 22 healthy volunteers in an fMRI paradigm looking for brain areas where BOLD activity correlated with "internal" and "external" scores. Activation of precuneus/posterior cingulate, anterior cingulate/mesiofrontal cortices, and parahippocampal areas ("intrinsic system") was linearly linked to intensity of internal awareness, whereas activation of lateral fronto-parietal cortices ("extrinsic system") was linearly associated with intensity of external awareness. [less ▲]

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See detailSynthesis and hydrolytic stability of novel 3-[18F]fluoroethoxybis(1-methylethyl)silyl]propanaminebased prosthetic groups
collet, Charlotte; Lamandé-Langle, Sandrine; Balentova, Eva et al

Poster (2011)

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See detailInterplay between spontaneous and induced brain activity during human non-rapid eye movement sleep.
Dang Vu, Thien Thanh ULg; Bonjean, Maxime; Schabus, Manuel et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2011), 108(37), 15438-43

Humans are less responsive to the surrounding environment during sleep. However, the extent to which the human brain responds to external stimuli during sleep is uncertain. We used simultaneous EEG and ... [more ▼]

Humans are less responsive to the surrounding environment during sleep. However, the extent to which the human brain responds to external stimuli during sleep is uncertain. We used simultaneous EEG and functional MRI to characterize brain responses to tones during wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Sounds during wakefulness elicited responses in the thalamus and primary auditory cortex. These responses persisted in NREM sleep, except throughout spindles, during which they became less consistent. When sounds induced a K complex, activity in the auditory cortex was enhanced and responses in distant frontal areas were elicited, similar to the stereotypical pattern associated with slow oscillations. These data show that sound processing during NREM sleep is constrained by fundamental brain oscillatory modes (slow oscillations and spindles), which result in a complex interplay between spontaneous and induced brain activity. The distortion of sensory information at the thalamic level, especially during spindles, functionally isolates the cortex from the environment and might provide unique conditions favorable for off-line memory processing. [less ▲]

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See detailNeural precursors of delayed insight
Darsaud, Annabelle ULg; Wagner, Ullrich; Balteau, Evelyne ULg et al

in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2011), 23(8), 1900-1910

The solution of a problem left unresolved in the evening can sometimes pop into mind as a sudden insight after a night of sleep in the following morning. Although favorable effects of sleep on insightful ... [more ▼]

The solution of a problem left unresolved in the evening can sometimes pop into mind as a sudden insight after a night of sleep in the following morning. Although favorable effects of sleep on insightful behavior have been experimentally confirmed, the neural mechanisms determining this delayed insight remain unknown. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we characterize the neural precursors of delayed insight in the number reduction task (NRT), in which a hidden task structure can be learned implicitly, but can also be recognized explicitly in an insightful process, allowing immediate qualitative improvement in task performance. Normal volunteers practiced the NRT during two fMRI sessions (training and retest), taking place 12 hours apart after a night of sleep. After this delay, half of the subjects gained insight into the hidden task structure ("solvers," S), whereas the other half did not ("nonsolvers," NS). Already at training, solvers and nonsolvers differed in their cerebral responses associated with implicit learning. In future solvers, responses were observed in the superior frontal sulcus, posterior parietal cortex, and the insula, three areas mediating controlled processes and supporting early learning and novice performance. In contrast, implicit learning was related to significant responses in the hippocampus in nonsolvers. Moreover, the hippocampus was functionally coupled with the basal ganglia in nonsolvers and with the superior frontal sulcus in solvers, thus potentially biasing participants' strategy towards implicit or controlled processes of memory encoding, respectively. Furthermore, in solvers but not in nonsolvers, response patterns were further transformed overnight, with enhanced responses in ventral medial prefrontal cortex, an area previously implicated in the consolidation of declarative memory. During retest in solvers, before they gain insight into the hidden rule, significant responses were observed in the same medial prefrontal area. After insight, a distributed set of parietal and frontal areas is recruited among which information concerning the hidden rule can be shared in a so-called global workspace. [less ▲]

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See detailRadiolabeling of modified siRNA by click chemistry with fluorine-18 for PET studies
Flagothier, Jessica ULg; Mercier, Frédéric; Kaisin, Geoffroy ULg et al

in Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals (2011)

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See detailPhotoclick chemistry: Applications to 18F radiotracers preparation
Thonon, David ULg; Goukens, Eve ULg; Kaisin, Geoffroy ULg et al

in Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals (2011)

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See detailSynthesis and hydrolytic stability of novel 3-[18F]fluoroethoxybis(1-methylethyl)silyl]propanamine-based prosthetic groups
Balentova, Eva; Collet, Charlotte; Lamande-Langle, Sandrine et al

in Journal of Fluorine Chemistry (2011), 132(4), 250-257

Two new silicon-based prosthetic groups, derived from 3-[ethoxybis(1-methylethyl)silyl]propanamine, have been prepd. in good yields. These silicon groups bearing an acid or an azide group were coupled to ... [more ▼]

Two new silicon-based prosthetic groups, derived from 3-[ethoxybis(1-methylethyl)silyl]propanamine, have been prepd. in good yields. These silicon groups bearing an acid or an azide group were coupled to a model tripeptide (Leu-Gly- Gly) either through a classical amide bond formation or through "click chem." via the Huisgen cycloaddn. The radiolabeling with fluorine-18 by substitution of the ethoxy group at silicon has been carried out with success in 51-54% decay cor. radiochem. yields. Radiolabeled peptides were easily prepd. by direct 18F-fluorination of the silicon-bearing tripeptide or by coupling the peptide with a radiolabeled silicon-based prosthetic group. Their stabilities in physiol. medium were studied and proved poor. [less ▲]

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See detailStructure-Guided Design of Cell Wall Biosynthesis Inhibitors That Overcome beta-Lactam Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Contreras-Martel, Carlos; Amoroso, Ana Maria ULg; Woon, Esther C.Y. et al

in ACS Chemical Biology (2011)

beta-Lactam antibiotics have long been a treatment of choice for bacterial infections since they bind irreversibly to Penicillin-Binding Proteins (PBPs), enzymes that are vital for cell wall biosynthesis ... [more ▼]

beta-Lactam antibiotics have long been a treatment of choice for bacterial infections since they bind irreversibly to Penicillin-Binding Proteins (PBPs), enzymes that are vital for cell wall biosynthesis. Many pathogens express drug-insensitive PBPs rendering beta-lactams ineffective, revealing a need for new types of PBP inhibitors active against resistant strains. We have identified alkyl boronic acids that are active against pathogens including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The crystal structures of PBP1b complexed to 11 different alkyl boronates demonstrate that in vivo efficacy correlates with the mode of inhibitor side chain binding. Staphylococcal membrane analyses reveal that the most potent alkyl boronate targets PBP1, an autolysis system regulator, and PBP2a, a low beta-lactam affinity enzyme. This work demonstrates the potential of boronate-based PBP inhibitors for circumventing beta-lactam resistance and opens avenues for the development of novel antibiotics that target Gram-positive pathogens. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of light on cognitive brain responses depend on circadian phase and sleep homeostasis.
Vandewalle, Gilles ULg; Archer, Simon N; Wuillaume, Catherine et al

in Journal of biological rhythms (2011), 26(3), 249-59

Light is a powerful modulator of cognition through its long-term effects on circadian rhythmicity and direct effects on brain function as identified by neuroimaging. How the direct impact of light on ... [more ▼]

Light is a powerful modulator of cognition through its long-term effects on circadian rhythmicity and direct effects on brain function as identified by neuroimaging. How the direct impact of light on brain function varies with wavelength of light, circadian phase, and sleep homeostasis, and how this differs between individuals, is a largely unexplored area. Using functional MRI, we compared the effects of 1 minute of low-intensity blue (473 nm) and green light (527 nm) exposures on brain responses to an auditory working memory task while varying circadian phase and status of the sleep homeostat. Data were collected in 27 subjects genotyped for the PER3 VNTR (12 PER3(5/5) and 15 PER3(4/4) ) in whom it was previously shown that the brain responses to this task, when conducted in darkness, depend on circadian phase, sleep homeostasis, and genotype. In the morning after sleep, blue light, relative to green light, increased brain responses primarily in the ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and in the intraparietal sulcus, but only in PER3(4/4) individuals. By contrast, in the morning after sleep loss, blue light increased brain responses in a left thalamofrontoparietal circuit to a larger extent than green light, and only so in PER3(5/5) individuals. In the evening wake maintenance zone following a normal waking day, no differential effect of 1 minute of blue versus green light was observed in either genotype. Comparison of the current results with the findings observed in darkness indicates that light acts as an activating agent particularly under those circumstances in which and in those individuals in whom brain function is jeopardized by an adverse circadian phase and high homeostatic sleep pressure. [less ▲]

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See detailNew noncovalent inhibitors of penicillin-binding proteins from penicillin-resistant bacteria.
Turk, Samo; Verlaine, Olivier ULg; Gerards, Thomas ULg et al

in PloS one (2011), 6(5), 19418

BACKGROUND: Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are well known and validated targets for antibacterial therapy. The most important clinically used inhibitors of PBPs beta-lactams inhibit transpeptidase ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are well known and validated targets for antibacterial therapy. The most important clinically used inhibitors of PBPs beta-lactams inhibit transpeptidase activity of PBPs by forming a covalent penicilloyl-enzyme complex that blocks the normal transpeptidation reaction; this finally results in bacterial death. In some resistant bacteria the resistance is acquired by active-site distortion of PBPs, which lowers their acylation efficiency for beta-lactams. To address this problem we focused our attention to discovery of novel noncovalent inhibitors of PBPs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our in-house bank of compounds was screened for inhibition of three PBPs from resistant bacteria: PBP2a from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), PBP2x from Streptococcus pneumoniae strain 5204, and PBP5fm from Enterococcus faecium strain D63r. Initial hit inhibitor obtained by screening was then used as a starting point for computational similarity searching for structurally related compounds and several new noncovalent inhibitors were discovered. Two compounds had promising inhibitory activities of both PBP2a and PBP2x 5204, and good in-vitro antibacterial activities against a panel of Gram-positive bacterial strains. CONCLUSIONS: We found new noncovalent inhibitors of PBPs which represent important starting points for development of more potent inhibitors of PBPs that can target penicillin-resistant bacteria. [less ▲]

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