UNLABELLED : The emerging epidemic of drug resistance places the development of efficacious and safe antibiotics in the spotlight of current research. Here, we report the design of next-generation aminoglycosides. Discovery efforts were driven by rational synthesis focusing on 4' alkylations of the aminoglycoside paromomycin, with the goal to alleviate the most severe and disabling side effect of aminoglycosides-irreversible hearing loss. Compounds were evaluated for target activity in in vitro ribosomal translation assays, antibacterial potency against selected pathogens, cytotoxicity against mammalian cells, and in vivo ototoxicity. The results of this study produced potent compounds with excellent selectivity at the ribosomal target, promising antibacterial activity, and little, if any, ototoxicity upon chronic administration. The favorable biocompatibility profile combined with the promising antibacterial activity emphasizes the potential of next-generation aminoglycosides in the treatment of infectious diseases without the risk of ototoxicity.
IMPORTANCE : The ever-widening epidemic of multidrug-resistant infectious diseases and the paucity of novel antibacterial agents emerging from modern screening platforms mandate the reinvestigation of established drugs with an emphasis on improved biocompatibility and overcoming resistance mechanisms. Here, we describe the preparation and evaluation of derivatives of the established aminoglycoside antibiotic paromomycin that effectively remove its biggest deficiency, ototoxicity, and overcome certain bacterial resistance mechanisms.