Antibiotics2016, 5(2), 18; doi:10.3390/antibiotics5020018 (registering DOI) - published 27 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Many antibiotics target the ribosome and interfere with its translation cycle. Since translation is the source of all cellular proteins including ribosomal proteins, protein synthesis and ribosome assembly are interdependent. As a consequence, the activity of translation inhibitors might indirectly cause defective ribosome assembly. Due to the difficulty in distinguishing between direct and indirect effects, and because assembly is probably a target in its own right, concepts are needed to identify small molecules that directly inhibit ribosome assembly. Here, we summarize the basic facts of ribosome targeting antibiotics. Furthermore, we present an in vivo screening strategy that focuses on ribosome assembly by a direct fluorescence based read-out that aims to identify and characterize small molecules acting as primary assembly inhibitors.
Abstract: GE81112 is a tetrapeptide antibiotic that binds to the 30S ribosomal subunit and specifically inhibits P-site decoding of the mRNA initiation codon by the fMet-tRNA anticodon. GE81112 displays excellent microbiological activity against some Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in both minimal and complete, chemically defined, broth, but is essentially inactive in complete complex media. This is due to the presence of peptides that compete with the antibiotic for the oligopeptide permease system (Opp) responsible for its illicit transport into the bacterial cells as demonstrated in the cases of Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. Mutations that inactivate the Opp system and confer GE81112 resistance arise spontaneously with a frequency of ca. 1 × 10−6, similar to that of the mutants resistant to tri-l-ornithine, a known Opp substrate. On the contrary, cells expressing extrachromosomal copies of the opp genes are extremely sensitive to GE81112 in rich medium and GE81112-resistant mutations affecting the molecular target of the antibiotic were not detected upon examining >109 cells of this type. However, some mutations introduced in the 16S rRNA to confer kasugamycin resistance were found to reduce the sensitivity of the cells to GE81112.
Abstract: Peptidyl-tRNA hydrolases (Pths) play ancillary yet essential roles in protein biosynthesis by recycling peptidyl-tRNA. In E. coli, inhibition of bacterial Pth1 leads to accumulation of peptidyl-tRNA, depletion of aminoacyl-tRNA, and cell death. Eukaryotes have multiple Pths and Pth1 knock out was shown to have no effect on viability in yeast. Thereby, bacterial Pth1 is a promising target for novel antibiotic development. With the abundance of Pth1 structural data, molecular docking was used for virtual screening of existing, commercially available antibiotics to map potential interactions with Pth enzymes. Overall, 83 compounds were docked to eight different bacterial Pth1 and three different Pth2 structures. A variety of compounds demonstrated favorable docking with Pths. Whereas, some compounds interacted favorably with all Pths (potential broad spectrum inhibition), more selective interactions were observed for Pth1 or Pth2 and even specificity for individual Pth1s. While the correlation between computational docking and experimentation still remains unknown, these findings support broad spectrum inhibition, but also point to the possibility of narrow spectrum Pth1 inhibition. Also suggested is that Pth1 can be distinguished from Pth2 by small molecule inhibitors. The findings support continued development of Pth1 as an antibiotic target.
Abstract: RNase P is an essential endonuclease in tRNA biogenesis, which generates the mature 5′-termini of tRNAs. Most forms of RNase P are ribonucleoproteins, i.e., they consist of an essential RNA and protein subunits. The catalytic function of ribonucleoprotein RNase P enzymes resides entirely in the RNA subunit. Its high structural and functional diversity among representatives of a vast variety of phylogenetic domains indicates that RNase P could serve as a molecular target and a useful screening system for the development of new drugs in the battle against bacterial drug resistance.
Abstract: The bacterial cell wall is essential for survival, and proteins that participate in its biosynthesis have been the targets of antibiotic development efforts for decades. The biosynthesis of its main component, the peptidoglycan, involves the coordinated action of proteins that are involved in multi-member complexes which are essential for cell division (the “divisome”) and/or cell wall elongation (the “elongasome”), in the case of rod-shaped cells. Our knowledge regarding these interactions has greatly benefitted from the visualization of different aspects of the bacterial cell wall and its cytoskeleton by cryoelectron microscopy and tomography, as well as genetic and biochemical screens that have complemented information from high resolution crystal structures of protein complexes involved in divisome or elongasome formation. This review summarizes structural and functional aspects of protein complexes involved in the cytoplasmic and membrane-related steps of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, with a particular focus on protein-protein interactions whereby disruption could lead to the development of novel antibacterial strategies.
Abstract: The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in the UK rose dramatically during the early years of this century, in part associated with the emergence of the hyper-virulent ribotype 027 strain. The University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL), a 2000-bed acute UK NHS Trust, implemented a number of interventions, which led to an 80% reduction in new cases over a twelve month period. Changes were introduced as a result of collaboration between the Infection Prevention team, the departments of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and with the support of the Trust Executive. These strategies are described in detail and included; implementation of antimicrobial stewardship, specific hygiene and cleaning measures, the introduction of a care pathway form for all infected patients, the opening of an isolation ward for patients with CDI, strengthened organisation and clinical management, and rigorous attention to education within the Trust. The implementations described are of continued relevance in the face of new infection challenges, such as the increasing incidence of multi-drug resistant organisms.