Klebsazolicin inhibits 70S ribosome by obstructing the peptide exit tunnel.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nat Chem Biol (2017)


<p>Whereas screening of the small-molecule metabolites produced by most cultivatable microorganisms often results in the rediscovery of known compounds, genome-mining programs allow researchers to harness much greater chemical diversity, and result in the discovery of new molecular scaffolds. Here we report the genome-guided identification of a new antibiotic, klebsazolicin (KLB), from Klebsiella pneumoniae that inhibits the growth of sensitive cells by targeting ribosomes. A ribosomally synthesized post-translationally modified peptide (RiPP), KLB is characterized by the presence of a unique N-terminal amidine ring that is essential for its activity. Biochemical in vitro studies indicate that KLB inhibits ribosomes by interfering with translation elongation. Structural analysis of the ribosome-KLB complex showed that the compound binds in the peptide exit tunnel overlapping with the binding sites of macrolides or streptogramin-B. KLB adopts a compact conformation and largely obstructs the tunnel. Engineered KLB fragments were observed to retain in vitro activity, and thus have the potential to serve as a starting point for the development of new bioactive compounds.</p>