The inhibiting effects of sulfonamide drugs and their derivatives on the anaerobic decarboxylation of pyruvic acid by Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, baker's and brewer's yeast, and a carboxylase preparation from brewer's yeast have been investigated. These drugs are: sulfanilamide, sulfapyridine, sulfadiazine, sulfamethyldiazine, sulfathiazole, sulfamethylthiazole, sulfanilamido-5-ethyl-4-thiazolone, 2-aminopyrimidine, 2-aminothiazole, and 2-aminopyridine.

The sulfathiazole ring appears to exercise decidedly greater specific inhibiting effect on the carboxylases of Staph. aureus and E. coli. The inhibiting effect on yeast carboxylase is non-differentiable among all the substances tried, except sulfamethyldiazine which is completely ineffective on the carboxylases of the organisms studied.

The specific inhibitory effect of sulfathiazole on the carboxylases of Staph. aureus and E. coli in comparison to sulfanilamide, sulfapyridine, and sulfadiazine is in harmony with in vivo and in vitro experimental results of other investigators.

The results of the present investigation appear to support the hypothesis (1) that sulfonamides exert their bacteriostatic action through chemical affinity for the carrier proteins of certain respiratory enzymes of the bacterial cell, and that this affinity may in part be related to structural similarity between components of the drugs and the corresponding respiratory coenzymes.

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