A library of 18 different compounds was synthesized starting from (R)-3-hydroxyoctanoic acid which is derived from the bacterial polymer polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). Ten derivatives, including halo and unsaturated methyl and benzyl esters, were synthesized and characterized for the first time. Given that (R)-3-hydroxyalkanoic acids are known to have biological activity, the new compounds were evaluated for antimicrobial activity and in vitro antiproliferative effect with mammalian cell lines. The presence of the carboxylic group was essential for the antimicrobial activity, with minimal inhibitory concentrations against a panel of bacteria (Gram-positive and Gram-negative) and fungi (Candida albicans and Microsporum gypseum) in the range 2.8–7.0 mM and 0.1–6.3 mM, respectively. 3-Halogenated octanoic acids exhibited the ability to inhibit C. albicans hyphae formation. In addition, (R)-3-hydroxyoctanoic and (E)-oct-2-enoic acids inhibited quorum sensing-regulated pyocyanin production in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Generally, derivatives did not inhibit mammalian cell proliferation even at 3-mM concentrations, while only (E)-oct-2-enoic and 3-oxooctanoic acid had IC50 values of 1.7 and 1.6 mM with the human lung fibroblast cell line.
Radivojevic, J., Skaro, S., Senerovic, L., Vasiljevic, B., Guzik, M., Kenny, S. T., … O’Connor, K. E. (2016). Polyhydroxyalkanoate-based 3-hydroxyoctanoic acid and its derivatives as a platform of bioactive compounds. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 100(1), 161–172. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-015-6984-4