Relebactam Is a Potent Inhibitor of the KPC-2 β-Lactamase and Restores Imipenem Susceptibility in KPC-Producing Enterobacteriaceae.Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 06; 62(6)AA
The imipenem-relebactam combination is in development as a potential treatment regimen for infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae possessing complex β-lactamase backgrounds. Relebactam is a β-lactamase inhibitor that possesses the diazabicyclooctane core, as in avibactam; however, the R1 side chain of relebactam also includes a piperidine ring, whereas that of avibactam is a carboxyamide. Here, we investigated the inactivation of the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase KPC-2, the most widespread class A carbapenemase, by relebactam and performed susceptibility testing with imipenem-relebactam using KPC-producing clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae MIC measurements using agar dilution methods revealed that all 101 clinical isolates of KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae (K. pneumoniae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter aerogenes, Citrobacter freundii, Citrobacter koseri, and Escherichia coli) were highly susceptible to imipenem-relebactam (MICs ≤ 2 mg/liter). Relebactam inhibited KPC-2 with a second-order onset of acylation rate constant (k2/K) value of 24,750 M-1 s-1 and demonstrated a slow off-rate constant (koff) of 0.0002 s-1 Biochemical analysis using time-based mass spectrometry to map intermediates revealed that the KPC-2-relebactam acyl-enzyme complex was stable for up to 24 h. Importantly, desulfation of relebactam was not observed using mass spectrometry. Desulfation and subsequent deacylation have been observed during the reaction of KPC-2 with avibactam. Upon molecular dynamics simulations of relebactam in the KPC-2 active site, we found that the positioning of active-site water molecules is less favorable for desulfation in the KPC-2 active site than it is in the KPC-2-avibactam complex. In the acyl complexes, the water molecules are within 2.5 to 3 Å of the avibactam sulfate; however, they are more than 5 to 6 Å from the relebactam sulfate. As a result, we propose that the KPC-2-relebactam acyl complex is more stable than the KPC-2-avibactam complex. The clinical implications of this difference are not currently known.