Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Stanislaw Wnuk

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Bernard Gerstman

Third Advisor's Name

Kathleen Rein

Fourth Advisor's Name

Xiaotang Wang

Fifth Advisor's Name

David Chatfield


Organic synthesis, Medicinal chemistry, LuxS inhibitors, Antibacterial, Drug design, S-Ribosylhomocysteine analogues

Date of Defense



Bacteria are known to release a large variety of small molecules known as autoinducers (AI) which effect quorum sensing (QS) initiation. The interruption of QS effects bacterial communication, growth and virulence.

Three novel classes of S-ribosylhomocysteine (SRH) analogues as potential inhibitors of S-ribosylhomocysteinase (LuxS enzyme) and AI-2 modulators of QS were developed. The synthesis of 2-deoxy-2-bromo-SRH analogues was attempted by coupling of the corresponding 2-bromo-2-deoxypentafuranosyl precursors with the homocysteinate anion. The displacement of the bromide from C2 rather than the expected substitution of the mesylate from C5 was observed. The synthesis of 4-C-alkyl/aryl-S-ribosylhomocysteine analogues involved the following steps: (i) conversion of the D-ribose to the ribitol-4-ulose; (ii) diastereoselective addition of various alkyl or aryl or vinyl Grignard reagents to 4-ketone intermediate; (iii) oxidation of the primary hydroxyl group at C1 followed by the intramolecular ring closure to the corresponding 4-C-alkyl/aryl-substituted ribono-1,4-lactones; (iv) displacement of the activated 5-hydroxyl group with the protected homocysteinate. Treatment of the 4-C-alkyl/aryl-substituted SRH analogues with lithium triethylborohydride effected reduction of the ribonolactone to the ribose (hemiacetal) and subsequent global deprotection with trifluoroacetic acid provided 4-C-alkyl/aryl-SRHs.

The 4-[thia]-SRH were prepared from the 1-deoxy-4-thioribose through the coupling of the α-fluoro thioethers (thioribosyl fluorides) with homocysteinate anion. The 4-[thia]-SRH analogues showed concentration dependent effect on the growth on las (50% inhibitory effect at 200 µg/mL). The most active was 1-deoxy-4-[thia]-SRH analogue with sufur atom in the ring oxidized to sulfoxide decreasing las gene activity to approximately 35% without affecting rhl gene. Neither of the tested compounds had effect on bioluminescence nor on total growth of V. harveyi, but had however slight inhibition of the QS.





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