5′-Methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (MTAN) is a bacterial enzyme involved in S-adenosylmethionine–related quorum sensing pathways that induce bacterial pathogenesis factors. Transition state analogs MT-DADMe-Immucillin-A, EtT-DADMe-Immucillin-A and BuT-DADMe-Immucillin-A are slow-onset, tight-binding inhibitors of Vibrio cholerae MTAN (VcMTAN), with equilibrium dissociation constants of 73, 70 and 208 pM, respectively. Structural analysis of VcMTAN with BuT-DADMe-Immucillin-A revealed interactions contributing to the high affinity. We found that in V. cholerae cells, these compounds are potent MTAN inhibitors with IC50 values of 27, 31 and 6 nM for MT-, EtT- and BuT-DADMe-Immucillin-A, respectively; the compounds disrupt autoinducer production in a dose-dependent manner without affecting growth. MT- and BuT-DADMe-Immucillin-A also inhibited autoinducer-2 production in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 with IC50 values of 600 and 125 nM, respectively. BuT-DADMe-Immucillin-A inhibition of autoinducer-2 production in both strains persisted for several generations and caused reduction in biofilm formation. These results support MTAN's role in quorum sensing and its potential as a target for bacterial anti-infective drug design.
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We acknowledge R.H. Furneaux, G.B. Evans, D.H. Lenz, G.F. Painter and P.C. Tyler of Industrial Research Laboratory, Inc. for supplying the DADMe-Immucillins; M.G. Surette (University of Calgary) for providing V. harveyi strains BB120 and BB170; C. Bradbeer (University of Virginia) for the E. coli MTAN knockout; and the US National Institutes of Health grant GM41916 for funding. Data for this study were collected at beamline X29A of the National Synchrotron Light Source. Financial support comes principally from the Offices of Biological and Environmental Research and of Basic Energy Sciences of the US Department of Energy, and from the National Center for Research Resources of the US National Institutes of Health.
V.L.S. is co-scientific founder of Pico Pharmaceuticals Inc., a new startup biotechnology company involved in anticancer and antibiotic development.
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Gutierrez, J., Crowder, T., Rinaldo-Matthis, A. et al. Transition state analogs of 5′-methylthioadenosine nucleosidase disrupt quorum sensing. Nat Chem Biol 5, 251–257 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.153
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