Elimination of plasmids by SILA compounds that inhibit efflux pumps of bacteria and cancer cells

Zsuzsanna Schelz, Marta Martins, Ana Martins, Miguel Viveiros, Joseph Molnar, Leonard Amaral

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Patented SILA compounds 409 and 421, previously shown to inhibit the efflux pumps of bacteria and cancer cells, have been studied for their ability to reduce or eliminate the presence of plasmids from Escherichia coli strains that have been induced to high level resistance to tetracycline by gradual exposure to increasing concentrations of the antibiotic. The results demonstrate that SILA compound 421, which has greater efflux pump inhibitory activity than its parent SILA compound 409, can reduce plusmid loads by 5 logs, over that present in the absence of the drug. The ability of the SILA compound to eliminate much larger plasmids is substantially lower. Because in vivo studies have shown that these compounds are not toxic to the mouse, the results obtained in our study suggest a potential role for SILA compound 421 as an adjunct for the therapy of antibiotic-resistant E. coli infections whose resistance is plasmid-mediated. In addition, because plasmid-mediated resistance is often found in tetracycline-treated cattle, SILA compound 421 may have potential as an adjunct during the time that the cattle are maintained on tetracycline prior to slaughter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
JournalIn Vivo
VolumeVol. 21
Issue numbern.º 4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Cancer cells
  • Efflux pumps
  • Plasmid elimination
  • SILA compounds


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