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Various bacterial plasmids can be eliminated from bacterial species cultured as pure or mixed bacterial cultures by non-mutagenic heterocyclic compounds at subinhibitory concentrations. For plasmid curing, the replication should be inhibited at three different levels simultaneously: the intracellular replication of plasmid DNA, partition and intercellular transconjugal transfer. The antiplasmid action of the compounds depends on the chemical structure.  The targets for antiplasmid compounds were analysed in detail. It was found that amplified extrachromosomal DNA in the superhelical state binds more drug molecules than does the linear or open-circular form of the plasmid or the chromosome, without stereospecificity which leads to functional inactivation of the extrachromosomal genetic code. Plasmid elimination also occurs in ecosystems containing numerous bacterial species simultaneously, but the elimination of antibiotic resistance-encoding plasmids from all individual cells of the population is never complete.  The medical significance of plasmid elimination in vitro is, it provides a method to isolate plasmid-free bacteria for biotechnology without any risk of mutations, and it opens up a new perspective in rational drug design against bacterial plasmids.  Hypothetically, the combination of antiplasmid drugs and antibiotics may improve the effectivity of antibiotics against resistant bacteria; therefore, the results cannot be exploited until the curing efficiency reaches 100%. Inhibition of the conjugational transfer of antibiotic resistance plasmids can be exploited to reduce the spreading of these plasmids in ecosystems.

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The main target of the thesis was to investigate the drug resistance reversal on prokaryotic and eukaryotic model organisms. Based on DNA and protein complex formation properties of the given compounds the plasmid elimination of bacteria and the modification of the drug transporter proteins various experimental systems have been studied in bacteria and tumor cells.It was found that E. coli cells isolated from clinical specimen were less sensitive for the plasmid elimination than the laboratory strain carrying F prime plasmid, however, there was a complex formation between the antiplasmid compounds and the plasmid DNA isolated from both the clinical and laboratory strains. In addition there was a difference between the curing effect of two phenothiazines – the PMZ and TFP – on some E. coli strains in this study. The mechanism of action of different antiplasmid compounds was investigated on model nucleic acids such as calf thymus DNA and plasmid DNA. The pyrido[3,2-g] quinoline and phenothiazine derivatives seemed to have a complex formation with the model nucleic acids. Some of the compounds modified the activity of membrane efflux proteins. Based on the effect of trifluoromethyl ketones earlier studied my attention was focused on the combination of the trifluoromethyl ketone proton pump inhibitor TF18 with well-known antiplasmid compounds such as promethazine, trifluoperazine and 9-aminoacridine. In checkerboard studies the interaction between proton pump inhibitor and tricyclic compounds has been examined and it turned out that the interaction of proton pump inhibitor and trifluoperazine exerted synergistic antibacterial and plasmid curing effect on E. coli doxycycline resistant clinical strain due to the alteration of activity of membrane transporters. The role of proton pump system of the bacterial membrane was studied on Helicobacter pylori strains. The trifluoroketone proton pump inhibitor was able to block the proton motive forces and the activity of flagellar motor of both clarithromycin sensitive and resistant isolates of Helicobacter pylori . Since swimming was more sensitive to the inhibition than tumbling, I can suppose that TF18 works as an un-coupler in biological motor. The sensitivity of MDR1 type of eukaryotic ABC-transporter to resistance modifiers was studied on cancer cells. The synthetic benzo[b]-1,8-naphthyridine, pyridoquinoline, aza-oxafluorene and pregnane derivatives exerted reversing action of P-glycoprotein. Furthermore natural compounds, like coumarin derivatives and some fractions of persimmon extracts have been found to be potent resistance reversal agents against tumour cells.

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Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica
Sujata G. Dastidar
Sanchayita Debnath
Kaushiki Mazumdar
Kumkum Ganguly
, and
A. N. Chakrabarty

, A. N.: Potentiality of tricyclic compound thioridazine as an effective antibacterial and antiplasmid agent. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 37 , 671-675 (1999). Potentiality of tricyclic compound thioridazine as an

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