Potent Inhibition of DXP Synthase by a -Diaryl Bisubstrate Analog.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


ACS Infect Dis, Volume 10, Issue 4, p.1312-1326 (2024)


Acetaldehyde, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bacteria, Escherichia coli, Pyruvates, Transferases


<p>New antimicrobial strategies are needed to address pathogen resistance to currently used antibiotics. Bacterial central metabolism is a promising target space for the development of agents that selectively target bacterial pathogens. 1-Deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (DXPS) converts pyruvate and d-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (d-GAP) to DXP, which is required for synthesis of essential vitamins and isoprenoids in bacterial pathogens. Thus, DXPS is a promising antimicrobial target. Toward this goal, our lab has demonstrated selective inhibition of DXPS by alkyl acetylphosphonate (alkylAP)-based bisubstrate analogs that exploit the requirement for ternary complex formation in the DXPS mechanism. Here, we present the first DXPS structure with a bisubstrate analog bound in the active site. Insights gained from this cocrystal structure guided structure-activity relationship studies of the bisubstrate scaffold. A low nanomolar inhibitor (compound ) bearing a -dibenzyl glycine moiety conjugated to the acetylphosphonate pyruvate mimic via a triazole-based linker emerged from this study. Compound was found to exhibit slow, tight-binding inhibition, with contacts to DXPS residues R99 and R478 demonstrated to be important for this behavior. This work has discovered the most potent DXPS inhibitor to date and highlights a new role of R99 that can be exploited in future inhibitor designs toward the development of a novel class of antimicrobial agents.</p>