Savage, P. B.; Li, C. Exp. Op. Invest. Drugs 2000, 9, 263-269. Cholic acid derivatives: novel antimicrobials.

Mimics of squalamine and polymyxin B (PMB) have been prepared from cholic acid in hope of finding new antimicrobial agents. The squalamine mimics include the polyamine and sulphate functionalities found in the parent antibiotic, however, the positions relative to the steroid nucleus have been exchanged. The PMB mimics include the conservation of functionality among the polymyxin family of antibiotics, the primary amine groups and a hydrophobic chain. Although the squalamine and PMB mimics are morphologically dissimilar, they display similar activities. Both are simple to prepare and demonstrate broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms. Specific examples may be inactive alone, yet effectively permeabilise the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria rendering them sensitive to hydrophobic antibiotics. Problems associated with some of the squalamine and PMB mimics stem from their haemolytic activity and interactions with serum proteins, however, examples exist without these side effects which can sensitise Gram-negative bacteria to hydrophobic antibiotics.