Antimicrobial activity of trifluoromethyl ketones and their synergism with promethazine

Masami Kawase, Noboru Motohashi, Hiroshi Sakagami, Taisei Kanamoto, Hideki Nakashima, Lajos Ferenczy, Krystina Wolfard, Csilla Miskolci, Joseph Molnár

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The antimicrobial effects of 30 trifluoromethyl ketones [1-30] were studied on various representative bacteria. Of the ketones, 4,4,4-trifluoro-1-phenyl-1,3-butanedione [10], 1,1,1-trifluoro-3-(4,5-dimethyloxazol-2-yl)-2-propanone [11] and 1-(2-benzoxazolyl)-3,3,3-trifluoro-2-propanone [18] were found to exhibit potent antibacterial activity against the Gram-positive Bacillus megaterium and Corynebacterium michiganese, but not against Gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens. Compounds 11 and 18 inhibited the Escherichia coli. Compound 18 was also effective against yeasts. The combination of promethazine with 18 was significantly synergistic against E. coli strains, especially the proton pump deficient mutant. The results suggest that membrane transporters are the target of trifluoromethyl ketones. The inhibition was more marked in the proton pump deficient E. coli mutant than in the wild type, which suggested that the antibacterial effect of trifluoromethyl ketones is partly prevented by the proton pump system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 29 2001


  • Anti-HIV
  • Antibacterial
  • Promethazine
  • Synergism
  • Trifluoromethyl ketone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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