Putative histidine kinase inhibitors with antibacterial effect against multi-drug resistant clinical isolates identified by in vitro and in silico screens.
ABSTRACT: Novel antibacterials are urgently needed to address the growing problem of bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics. Two-component systems (TCS) are widely used by bacteria to regulate gene expression in response to various environmental stimuli and physiological stress and have been previously proposed as promising antibacterial targets. TCS consist of a sensor histidine kinase (HK) and an effector response regulator. The HK component contains a highly conserved ATP-binding site that is considered to be a promising target for broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs. Here, we describe the identification of putative HK autophosphorylation inhibitors following two independent experimental approaches: in vitro fragment-based screen via differential scanning fluorimetry and in silico structure-based screening, each followed up by the exploration of analogue compounds as identified by ligand-based similarity searches. Nine of the tested compounds showed antibacterial effect against multi-drug resistant clinical isolates of bacterial pathogens and include three novel scaffolds, which have not been explored so far in other antibacterial compounds. Overall, putative HK autophosphorylation inhibitors were found that together provide a promising starting point for further optimization as antibacterials.
Project description:The two-component system (TCS) is a significant signal transduction system for bacteria to adapt to complicated and variable environments, and thus has recently been regarded as a novel target for developing antibacterial agents. The natural product luteolin (Lut) can inhibit the autophosphorylation activity of the typical histidine kinase (HK) HK853 from <i>Thermotoga maritime</i>, but the inhibition mechanism is not known. Herein, we report on the binding mechanism of a typical flavone with HK853 by using solution NMR spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and molecular docking. We show that luteolin inhibits the activity of HK853 by occupying the binding pocket of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) through hydrogen bonds and ?-? stacking interaction structurally. Our results reveal a detailed mechanism for the inhibition of flavones and observe the conformational and dynamics changes of HK. These results should provide a feasible approach for antibacterial agent design from the view of the histidine kinases.
Project description:Though phenotypic and target-based high-throughput screening approaches have been employed to discover new antibiotics, the identification of promising therapeutic candidates remains challenging. Each approach provides different information, and understanding their results can provide hypotheses for a mechanism of action (MoA) and reveal actionable chemical matter. Here, we describe a framework for identifying efficacy targets of bioactive compounds. High throughput biophysical profiling against a broad range of targets coupled with machine learning was employed to identify chemical features with predicted efficacy targets for a given phenotypic screen. We validate the approach on data from a set of 55?000 compounds in 24 historical internal antibacterial phenotypic screens and 636 bacterial targets screened in high-throughput biophysical binding assays. Models were built to reveal the relationships between phenotype, target, and chemotype, which recapitulated mechanisms for known antibacterials. We also prospectively identified novel inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase with nanomolar antibacterial efficacy against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Molecular modeling provided structural insight into target-ligand interactions underlying selective killing activity toward mycobacteria over human cells.
Project description:While two-component systems (TCSs), composed of a sensor histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator, are the main signaling pathways in bacteria, global TCS activity remains poorly described. Here, we report the kinetic parameters of the HK autophosphorylation reaction using previously uncharacterized ?-phosphate-modified ATP analogues to further elucidate their utility as activity-based probes for global TCS analysis. Given the increased stability of thiophosphorylated histidine in comparison to that of the native phosphoryl modification, which is attributed to the decreased electrophilicity of this moiety, we anticipated that ATP?S may be turned over much more slowly by the HKs. Surprisingly, we found this not to be the case, with the turnover numbers decreasing <1 order of magnitude. Instead, we found that alkylation of the thiophosphate had a much more dramatic effect on turnover and, in one case, the binding affinity of this substrate analogue (BODIPY-FL-ATP?S).
Project description:In response to environmental changes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to switch from a planktonic (free swimming) to a sessile (biofilm) lifestyle. The two-component system (TCS) GacS/GacA activates the production of two small non-coding RNAs, RsmY and RsmZ, but four histidine kinases (HKs), RetS, GacS, LadS and PA1611, are instrumental in this process. RetS hybrid HK blocks GacS unorthodox HK autophosphorylation through the formation of a heterodimer. PA1611 hybrid HK, which is structurally related to GacS, interacts with RetS in P. aeruginosa in a very similar manner to GacS. LadS hybrid HK phenotypically antagonizes the function of RetS by a mechanism that has never been investigated. The four sensors are found in most Pseudomonas species but their characteristics and mode of signaling may differ from one species to another. Here, we demonstrated in P. aeruginosa that LadS controls both rsmY and rsmZ gene expression and that this regulation occurs through the GacS/GacA TCS. We additionally evidenced that in contrast to RetS, LadS signals through GacS/GacA without forming heterodimers, either with GacS or with RetS. Instead, we demonstrated that LadS is involved in a genuine phosphorelay, which requires both transmitter and receiver LadS domains. LadS signaling ultimately requires the alternative histidine-phosphotransfer domain of GacS, which is here used as an Hpt relay by the hybrid kinase. LadS HK thus forms, with the GacS/GacA TCS, a multicomponent signal transduction system with an original phosphorelay cascade, i.e. H1LadS?D1LadS?H2GacS?D2GacA. This highlights an original strategy in which a unique output, i.e. the modulation of sRNA levels, is controlled by a complex multi-sensing network to fine-tune an adapted biofilm and virulence response.
Project description:Most organisms anticipate daily environmental variations and orchestrate cellular functions thanks to a circadian clock which entrains robustly to the day/night cycle, despite fluctuations in light intensity due to weather or seasonal variations. Marine organisms are also subjected to fluctuations in light spectral composition as their depth varies, due to differential absorption of different wavelengths by sea water. Studying how light input pathways contribute to circadian clock robustness is therefore important. Ostreococcus tauri, a unicellular picoplanktonic marine green alga with low genomic complexity and simple cellular organization, has become a promising model organism for systems biology. Functional and modeling approaches have shown that a core circadian oscillator based on orthologs of Arabidopsis TOC1 and CCA1 clock genes accounts for most experimental data acquired under a wide range of conditions. Some evidence points at putative light input pathway(s) consisting of a two-component signaling system (TCS) controlled by the only two histidine kinases (HK) of O. tauri. LOV-HK is a blue light photoreceptor under circadian control, that is required for circadian clock function. An involvement of Rhodopsin-HK (Rhod-HK) is also conceivable since rhodopsin photoreceptors mediate blue to green light input in animal circadian clocks. Here, we probe the role of LOV-HK and Rhod-HK in mediating light input to the TOC1-CCA1 oscillator using a mathematical model incorporating the TCS hypothesis. This model agrees with clock gene expression time series representative of multiple environmental conditions in blue or green light, characterizing entrainment by light/dark cycles, free-running in constant light, and resetting. Experimental and theoretical results indicate that both blue and green light can reset O. tauri circadian clock. Moreover, our mathematical analysis suggests that Rhod-HK is a blue-green light receptor and drives the clock together with LOV-HK.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The growing discipline of structural systems pharmacology is applied prospectively in this study to predict pharmacological outcomes of antibacterial compounds in Escherichia coli K12. This work builds upon previously established methods for structural prediction of ligand binding pockets on protein molecules and utilizes and expands upon the previously developed genome scale model of metabolism integrated with protein structures (GEM-PRO) for E. coli, structurally accounting for protein complexes. Carefully selected case studies are demonstrated to display the potential for this structural systems pharmacology framework in discovery and development of antibacterial compounds.<h4>Results</h4>The prediction framework for antibacterial activity of compounds was validated for a control set of well-studied compounds, recapitulating experimentally-determined protein binding interactions and deleterious growth phenotypes resulting from these interactions. The antibacterial activity of fosfomycin, sulfathiazole, and trimethoprim were accurately predicted, and as a negative control glucose was found to have no predicted antibacterial activity. Previously uncharacterized mechanisms of action were predicted for compounds with known antibacterial properties, including (1-hydroxyheptane-1,1-diyl)bis(phosphonic acid) and cholesteryl oleate. Five candidate inhibitors were predicted for a desirable target protein without any known inhibitors, tryptophan synthase ? subunit (TrpB). In addition to the predictions presented, this effort also included significant expansion of the previously developed GEM-PRO to account for physiological assemblies of protein complex structures with activities included in the E. coli K12 metabolic network.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The structural systems pharmacology framework presented in this study was shown to be effective in the prediction of molecular mechanisms of antibacterial compounds. The study provides a promising proof of principle for such an approach to antibacterial development and raises specific molecular and systemic hypotheses about antibacterials that are amenable to experimental testing. This framework, and perhaps also the specific predictions of antibacterials, is extensible to developing antibacterial treatments for pathogenic E. coli and other bacterial pathogens.
Project description:Two-component signaling systems (TCSs) are one of the mechanisms that bacteria employ to sense and adapt to changes in the environment. A prototypical TCS functions as a phosphorelay from a membrane-bound sensor histidine kinase (HK) to a cytoplasmic response regulator (RR) that controls target gene expression. Despite significant homology in the signaling domains of HKs and RRs, TCSs are thought to typically function as linear systems with little to no cross-talk between non-cognate HK-RR pairs. Here we have identified several cell envelope acting compounds that stimulate a previously uncharacterized Bacillus anthracis TCS. Furthermore, this TCS cross-signals with the heme sensing TCS HssRS; therefore, we have named it HssRS interfacing TCS (HitRS). HssRS reciprocates cross-talk to HitRS, suggesting a link between heme toxicity and cell envelope stress. The signaling between HssRS and HitRS occurs in the parental B. anthracis strain; therefore, we classify HssRS-HitRS interactions as cross-regulation. Cross-talk between HssRS and HitRS occurs at both HK-RR and post-RR signaling junctions. Finally, HitRS also regulates a previously unstudied ABC transporter implicating this transporter in the response to cell envelope stress. This chemical biology approach to probing TCS signaling provides a new model for understanding how bacterial signaling networks are integrated to enable adaptation to complex environments such as those encountered during colonization of the vertebrate host.
Project description:Lactobacillus casei has traditionally been recognized as a probiotic, thus needing to survive the industrial production processes and transit through the gastrointestinal tract before providing benefit to human health. The two-component signal transduction system (TCS) plays important roles in sensing and reacting to environmental changes, which consists of a histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator (RR). In this study we identified HKs and RRs of six sequenced L. casei strains. Ortholog analysis revealed 15 TCS clusters (HK-RR pairs), one orphan HKs and three orphan RRs, of which 12 TCS clusters were common to all six strains, three were absent in one strain. Further classification of the predicted HKs and RRs revealed interesting aspects of their putative functions. Some TCS clusters are involved with the response under the stress of the bile salts, acid, or oxidative, which contribute to survive the difficult journey through the human gastrointestinal tract. Computational predictions of 15 TCSs were verified by PCR experiments. This genomic level study of TCSs should provide valuable insights into the conservation and divergence of TCS proteins in the L. casei strains.
Project description:The discovery of novel mechanism of action (MOA) antibacterials has been associated with the concept that antibacterial drugs occupy a differentiated region of physicochemical space compared to human-targeted drugs. With, in broad terms, antibacterials having higher molecular weight, lower logP and higher polar surface area (PSA). By analysing the physicochemical properties of about 1700 approved drugs listed in the ChEMBL database, we show, that antibacterials for whose targets are riboproteins (i.e., composed of a complex of RNA and protein) fall outside the conventional human 'drug-like' chemical space; whereas antibacterials that modulate bacterial protein targets, generally comply with the 'rule-of-five' guidelines for classical oral human drugs. Our analysis suggests a strong target-class association for antibacterials-either protein-targeted or riboprotein-targeted. There is much discussion in the literature on the failure of screening approaches to deliver novel antibacterial lead series, and linkage of this poor success rate for antibacterials with the chemical space properties of screening collections. Our analysis suggests that consideration of target-class may be an underappreciated factor in antibacterial lead discovery, and that in fact bacterial protein-targets may well have similar binding site characteristics to human protein targets, and questions the assumption that larger, more polar compounds are a key part of successful future antibacterial discovery.
Project description:The emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria emphasizes the urgent need for novel antibacterial compounds targeting unique cellular processes. Two-component signal transduction systems (TCSs) are commonly used by bacteria to couple environmental stimuli to adaptive responses, are absent in mammals, and are embedded in various pathogenic pathways. To attenuate these signaling pathways, we aimed to target the TCS signal transducer histidine kinase (HK) by focusing on their highly conserved adenosine triphosphate-binding domain. We used a structure-based drug design strategy that begins from an inhibitor-bound crystal structure and includes a significant number of structurally simplifiying "intuitive" modifications to arrive at the simple achiral, biaryl target structures. Thus, ligands were designed, leading to a series of thiophene derivatives. These compounds were synthesized and evaluated in vitro against bacterial HKs. We identified eight compounds with significant inhibitory activities against these proteins, two of which exhibited broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. The compounds were also evaluated as adjuvants for the treatment of resistant bacteria. One compound was found to restore the sensivity of these bacteria to the respective antibiotics.