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Avenaciolides: Potential MurA-Targeted Inhibitors Against Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

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posted on 2015-01-14, 00:00 authored by Ching-Ming Chang, Jeffy Chern, Ming-Yi Chen, Kai-Fa Huang, Chein-Hung Chen, Yu-Liang Yang, Shih-Hsiung Wu
Discovery of new antibiotics for combating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is of vital importance in the post-antibiotic era. Here, we report four avenaciolide derivatives (14) isolated from Neosartorya fischeri, three of which had significant antimicrobial activity against MRSA. The morphology of avenaciolide-treated cells was protoplast-like, which indicated that cell wall biosynthesis was interrupted. Comparing the structures and minimum inhibitory concentrations of 14, the α,β-unsaturated carbonyl group seems to be an indispensable moiety for antimicrobial activity. Based on a structural similarity survey of other inhibitors with the same moiety, we revealed that MurA was the drug target. This conclusion was validated by 31P NMR spectroscopy and MS/MS analysis. Although fosfomycin, which is the only clinically used MurA-targeted antibiotic, is ineffective for treating bacteria harboring the catalytically important Cys-to-Asp mutation, avenaciolides 1 and 2 inhibited not only wild-type but also fosfomycin-resistant MurA in an unprecedented way. Molecular simulation revealed that 2 competitively perturbs the formation of the tetrahedral intermediate in MurA. Our findings demonstrated that 2 is a potent inhibitor of MRSA and fosfomycin-resistant MurA, laying the foundation for the development of new scaffolds for MurA-targeted antibiotics.