Profiling interactions of vaborbactam with metallo-β-lactamases

Gareth W. Langley, Ricky Cain, Jonathan M. Tyrrell, Philip Hinchliffe, Karina Calvopiña, Catherine L. Tooke, Emma Widlake, Christopher G. Dowson, James Spencer, Timothy R. Walsh, Christopher J. Schofield*, Jürgen Brem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


β-Lactams are the most successful antibacterials, yet their use is threatened by resistance, importantly as caused by β-lactamases. β-Lactamases fall into two mechanistic groups: the serine β-lactamases that utilise a covalent acyl-enzyme mechanism and the metallo β-lactamases that utilise a zinc-bound water nucleophile. Achieving simultaneous inhibition of both β-lactamase classes remains a challenge in the field. Vaborbactam is a boronate-based inhibitor that reacts with serine-β-lactamases to form covalent complexes that mimic tetrahedral intermediates in catalysis. Vaborbactam has recently been approved for clinical use in combination with the carbapenem meropenem. Here we show that vaborbactam moderately inhibits metallo-β-lactamases from all 3 subclasses (B1, B2 and B3), with a potency of around 20–100 fold below that by which it inhibits its current clinical targets, the Class A serine β-lactamases. This result contrasts with recent investigations of bicyclic boronate inhibitors, which potently inhibit subclass B1 MBLs but which presently lack activity against B2 and B3 enzymes. These findings indicate that cyclic boronate scaffolds have the potential to inhibit the full range of β-lactamases and justify further work on the development of boronates as broad-spectrum β-lactamase inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1981-1984
Number of pages4
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number15
Early online date17 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Vaborbactam
  • serine- and metallo-β-lactamase
  • transition state analogue
  • boronate inhibitor
  • β-lactamase induction
  • antibiotic resistance
  • Serine- and metallo-β-lactamase
  • β-Lactamase induction
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Transition state analogue
  • Boronate inhibitor

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Profiling interactions of vaborbactam with metallo-β-lactamases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this