Toward an estimation of binding constants in aqueous solution: Studies of associations of vancomycin group antibiotics

D.H. Williams, M.S. Searle, J.P. Mackay, U. Gerhard, R.A. Maplestone

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    An approach toward the estimation of binding constants for organic molecules in aqueous solution is presented, based upon a partitioning of the free energy of binding. Consideration is given to polar and hydrophobic contributions and to the entropic cost of rotor restrictions and bimolecular associations. Several parameters (derived from an analysis of entropy changes upon the melting of crystals and from the binding of cell wall peptide analogues to the antibiotic ristocetin A) which may be useful guides to a crude understanding of binding phenomena are presented: (i) amide-amide hydrogen bond strengths of -(1 to 7) ± 2 kJ·mol, (ii) a hydrophobic effect of -0.2 ± 0.05 kJ·mol·Å of hydrocarbon removed from exposure to water in the binding process, and (iii) free energy costs for rotor restrictions of 3.5-5.0 kJ·mol. The validity of the parameters for hydrogen bond strengths is dependent on the validity of the other two parameters. The phenomenon of entropy/enthalpy compensation is considered, with the conclusion that enthalpic barriers to dissociations will result in larger losses in translational and rotational entropy in the association step. The dimerization of some vancomycin group antibiotics is strongly exothermic (-36 to -51 kJ·mol) and is promoted by a factor of 50-100 by a disaccharide attached to ring 4 (in vancomycin and eremomycin) and by a factor of ca. 1000 by an amino-sugar attached to the benzylic position of ring 6 in eremomycin. The dimerization process (which, as required for an exothermic association, appears to be costly in entropy) may be relevant to the mode of action of the antibiotics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1172-1178
    Number of pages7
    JournalProcs of the National Academy of Sciences
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993


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