[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulation of gene expression in response to the changing environment is critical for cell survival. For instance, binding of macrolide antibiotics to the ribosome promotes translation arrest at the leader open reading frames ermCL and ermBL, which is necessary for inducing the antibiotic resistance genes ermC and ermB. Cladinose-containing macrolides such as erythromycin (ERY), but not ketolides such as telithromycin (TEL), arrest translation of ermCL, whereas either ERY or TEL stall ermBL translation. How the ribosome distinguishes between chemically similar small molecules is unknown. We show that single amino acid changes in the leader peptide switch the specificity of recognition of distinct molecules, triggering gene activation in response to ERY alone, to TEL alone or to both antibiotics or preventing stalling altogether. Thus, the ribosomal response to chemical signals can be modulated by minute changes in the nascent peptide, suggesting that protein sequences could have been optimized for rendering translation sensitive to environmental cues.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Nature Chemical Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Translation arrest directed by nascent peptides and small cofactors controls expression of important bacterial and eukaryotic genes, including antibiotic resistance genes, activated by binding of macrolide drugs to the ribosome. Previous studies suggested that specific interactions between the nascent peptide and the antibiotic in the ribosomal exit tunnel play a central role in triggering ribosome stalling. However, here we show that macrolides arrest translation of the truncated ErmDL regulatory peptide when the nascent chain is only three amino acids and therefore is too short to be juxtaposed with the antibiotic. Biochemical probing and molecular dynamics simulations of erythromycin-bound ribosomes showed that the antibiotic in the tunnel allosterically alters the properties of the catalytic center, thereby predisposing the ribosome for halting translation of specific sequences. Our findings offer a new view on the role of small cofactors in the mechanism of translation arrest and reveal an allosteric link between the tunnel and the catalytic center of the ribosome.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are emerging at an alarming rate in both hospital and community settings. Motivated by this issue, we have prepared desmethyl (i.e., replacing methyl groups with hydrogens) analogues of third-generation macrolide drugs telithromycin (TEL, 2) and cethromycin (CET, 6), both of which are semi-synthetic derivatives of flagship macrolide antibiotic erythromycin (1). Herein, we report the total synthesis, molecular modeling, and biological evaluation of 4,8,10-tridesmethyl cethromycin (7). In MIC assays, CET analogue 7 was found to be equipotent with TEL (2) against a wild-type E. coli strain, more potent than previously disclosed desmethyl TEL congeners 3, 4, and 5, but fourfold less potent than TEL (2) against a mutant E. coli A2058G strain.
No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A transcriptional attenuation mechanism regulates expression of the bacterial tnaCAB operon. This mechanism requires ribosomal arrest induced by the regulatory nascent TnaC peptide in response to free L-tryptophan
(L-Trp). In this study we demonstrate, using genetic and biochemical analyses, that in Escherichia coli, TnaC residue I19 and 23S rRNA nucleotide A2058 are essential for the ribosome’s ability to sense free L-Trp. We show that
the mutational change A2058U in 23S rRNA reduces the concentration dependence of L-Trp-mediated tna operon induction, whereas the TnaC I19L change suppresses this phenotype, restoring the sensitivity of the translating A2058U
mutant ribosome to free L-Trp. These findings suggest that interactions between TnaC residue I19 and 23S rRNA nucleotide A2058
contribute to the creation of a regulatory L-Trp binding site within the translating ribosome.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aminoacyl-transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetases (RS) are essential components of the cellular translation machinery and can be exploited
for antibiotic discovery. Because cells have many different RS, usually one for each amino acid, identification of the specific
enzyme targeted by a new natural or synthetic inhibitor can be cumbersome. We describe the use of the primer extension technique
in conjunction with specifically designed synthetic genes to identify the RS targeted by an inhibitor. Suppression of a synthetase
activity reduces the amount of the cognate aminoacyl-tRNA in a cell-free translation system resulting in arrest of translation
when the corresponding codon enters the decoding center of the ribosome. The utility of the technique is demonstrated by identifying
a switch in target specificity of some synthetic inhibitors of threonyl-tRNA synthetase.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Structural factors behind erm macrolide resistance were studied through synthesis of new macrolide derivates possessing truncated desosamine sugar moieties and subsequent determination of their antibacterial activity. Synthesized compounds with 2'-deoxy and 3'-desmethyl desosamine rings demonstrated decreased antibacterial activity on the native Staphylococcus aureus strain and were inactive against constitutively resistance S. aureus. The obtained results indicate that steric repulsion between the dimethylated A2058 and desosamine ring cannot be considered as a primary reason for erm-resistance.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Novel sources of antibiotics are required to keep pace with the inevitable onset of bacterial resistance. Continuing with our macrolide desmethylation strategy as a source of new antibiotics, we report the total synthesis, molecular modeling and biological evaluation of 4,10-didesmethyl telithromycin (4), a novel desmethyl analogue of the 3rd-generation drug telithromycin (2). Telithromycin is an FDA-approved ketolide antibiotic derived from erythromycin (1). We found 4,10-didesmethyl telithromycin (4) to be four times more active than previously prepared 4,8,10-tridesmethyl congener (3) in MIC assays. While less potent than telithromycin (2), the inclusion of the C-8 methyl group has improved biological activity suggesting it plays an important role in antibiotic function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Specific nascent peptides in the ribosome exit tunnel can elicit translation arrest. Such ribosome stalling is used for regulation of expression of some bacterial and eukaryotic genes. The stalling is sensitive to additional cellular cues, most commonly the binding of specific small-molecular-weight cofactors to the ribosome. The role of cofactors in programmed translation arrest is unknown. By analyzing nascent peptide- and antibiotic-dependent ribosome stalling that controls inducible expression of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria, we have found that the antibiotic is directly recognized as a part of the translation modulating signal. Even minute structural alterations preclude it from assisting in ribosome stalling, indicating the importance of precise molecular interactions of the drug with the ribosome. One of the sensors that monitor the structure of the antibiotic is the 23S rRNA residue C2610, whose mutation reduces the efficiency of nascent peptide- and antibiotic-dependent ribosome stalling. These findings establish a new paradigm of the role of the cofactor in programmed translation arrest in which a small molecule is recognized along with specific nascent peptide sequences as a composite structure that provokes arrest of translation. A similar mechanism could be used by the ribosome to sense a variety of cellular metabolites.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to monitor the nascent peptide structure and to respond functionally to specific nascent peptide sequences is a fundamental property of the ribosome. An extreme manifestation of such response is nascent peptide-dependent ribosome stalling, involved in the regulation of gene expression. The molecular mechanisms of programmed translation arrest are unclear. By analyzing ribosome stalling at the regulatory cistron of the antibiotic resistance gene ermA, we uncovered a carefully orchestrated cooperation between the ribosomal exit tunnel and the A-site of the peptidyl transferase center (PTC) in halting translation. The presence of an inducing antibiotic and a specific nascent peptide in the exit tunnel abrogate the ability of the PTC to catalyze peptide bond formation with a particular subset of amino acids. The extent of the conferred A-site selectivity is modulated by the C-terminal segment of the nascent peptide, where the third-from-last residue plays a critical role.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need to discover new drugs to address the pressing problem of antibiotic-resistance. Macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin (1) are safe, broad-spectrum antibiotics used in the clinic since 1954. Herein we report the synthesis and evaluation of 4,8,10-tridesmethyl telithromycin (3), a novel desmethyl analogue of the 3rd-generation drug telithromycin (2), which is a semisynthetic derivative of 1. Analogue 3 was found to possess antibiotic activity and was superior to telithromycin (2) when tested against resistant strains of S. aureus possessing an A→T mutation at position 2058 (E. coli numbering).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We characterized the mechanism of action and the drug-binding site of a novel ketolide, CEM-101, which belongs to the latest class of macrolide antibiotics. CEM-101 shows high affinity for the ribosomes of Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria. The ketolide shows high selectivity in its inhibitory action and readily interferes with synthesis of a reporter protein in the bacterial but not eukaryotic cell-free translation system. Binding of CEM-101 to its ribosomal target site was characterized biochemically and by X-ray crystallography. The X-ray structure of CEM-101 in complex with the E. coli ribosome shows that the drug binds in the major macrolide site in the upper part of the ribosomal exit tunnel. The lactone ring of the drug forms hydrophobic interactions with the walls of the tunnel, the desosamine sugar projects toward the peptidyl transferase center and interacts with the A2058/A2509 cleft, and the extended alkyl-aryl arm of the drug is oriented down the tunnel and makes contact with a base pair formed by A752 and U2609 of the 23S rRNA. The position of the CEM-101 alkyl-aryl extended arm differs from that reported for the side chain of the ketolide telithromycin complexed with either bacterial (Deinococcus radiodurans) or archaeal (Haloarcula marismortui) large ribosomal subunits but closely matches the position of the side chain of telithromycin complexed to the E. coli ribosome. A difference in the chemical structure of the side chain of CEM-101 in comparison with the side chain of telithromycin and the presence of the fluorine atom at position 2 of the lactone ring likely account for the superior activity of CEM-101. The results of chemical probing suggest that the orientation of the CEM-101 extended side chain observed in the E. coli ribosome closely resembles its placement in Staphylococcus aureus ribosomes and thus likely accurately reflects interaction of CEM-101 with the ribosomes of the pathogenic bacterial targets of the drug. Chemical probing further demonstrated weak binding of CEM-101, but not of erythromycin, to the ribosome dimethylated at A2058 by the action of Erm methyltransferase.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ribosome is able to monitor the structure of the nascent peptide and can stall in response to specific peptide sequences. Such programmed stalling is used for the regulation of gene expression. The molecular mechanisms of the nascent-peptide recognition and ribosome stalling are unknown. We identified the conserved and posttranscriptionally modified 23S rRNA nucleotide m(2)A2503 located at the entrance of the ribosome exit tunnel as a key component of the ribosomal response mechanism. A2503 mutations abolish nascent-peptide-dependent stalling at the leader cistrons of several inducible antibiotic resistance genes and at the secM regulatory gene. Remarkably, lack of the C2 methylation of A2503 significantly function induction of expression of the ermC gene, indicating that the functional role of posttranscriptional modification is to fine-tune ribosome-nascent peptide interactions. Structural and biochemical evidence suggest that m(2)A2503 may act in concert with the previously identified nascent-peptide sensor, A2062, in the ribosome exit tunnel to relay the stalling signal to the peptidyl transferase centre.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crystallographic analysis revealed that the 17-member polyketide antibiotic lankacidin produced by Streptomyces rochei binds at the peptidyl transferase center of the eubacterial large ribosomal subunit. Biochemical and functional studies verified this finding and showed interference with peptide bond formation. Chemical probing indicated that the macrolide lankamycin, a second antibiotic produced by the same species, binds at a neighboring site, at the ribosome exit tunnel. These two antibiotics can bind to the ribosome simultaneously and display synergy in inhibiting bacterial growth. The binding site of lankacidin and lankamycin partially overlap with the binding site of another pair of synergistic antibiotics, the streptogramins. Thus, at least two pairs of structurally dissimilar compounds have been selected in the course of evolution to act synergistically by targeting neighboring sites in the ribosome. These results underscore the importance of the corresponding ribosomal sites for development of clinically relevant synergistic antibiotics and demonstrate the utility of structural analysis for providing new directions for drug discovery.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identification of small molecular weight compounds targeting specific sites in the ribosome can accelerate development of new antibiotics and provide new tools for ribosomal research. We demonstrate here that antibiotic-size short peptides capable of inhibiting protein synthesis can be selected by using specific elements of ribosomal RNA as a target. The 'h18' pseudoknot encompassing residues 500-545 of the small ribosomal subunit RNA was used as a target in screening a heptapeptide phage-display library. Two of the selected peptides could efficiently interfere with both bacterial and eukaryotic translation. One of these inhibitory peptides exhibited a high-affinity binding to the isolated small ribosomal subunit (K(d) of 1.1 microM). Identification of inhibitory peptides that likely target a specific rRNA structure may pave new ways for validating new antibiotic sites in the ribosome. The selected peptides can be used as a tool in search of novel site-specific inhibitors of translation.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Journal of Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Resistance has limited the use of macrolides for treating infections. CEM-101 is a new macrolide that is active against macrolide resistant bacteria. The drug-binding site in the ribosome and the action of a novel ketolide, CEM-101, and a related 3-cladinose-containing macrolide, CEM-103, were characterized in this study. Methods: The binding of CEM-101 to E. coli and S. aureus ribosomes was studied by competition binding assays. The inhibitory activity of CEM-101 on protein synthesis was investigated in bacterial and mammalian cell free systems. The binding site of CEM-101 and CEM-103 in the ribosome was characterized by RNA footprinting. Results: CEM-101 displayed a tight binding to the ribosome from sensitive Gram-negative (E. coli) and Gram-positive (S. aureus) bacteria with dissociation constants of 66 nM and 47 nM, respectively. CEM-101 inhibited bacterial cell-free translation system with an IC50 of 1.1 µM, and showed high selectivity for bacterial vs. mammalian ribosomes. In their binding site in the large subunit of E. coli and S. aureus ribosomes CEM-101 and CEM-103 establish interaction with the nucleotide residues of the central loop of domain V. In addition, both compounds protect A752 in the loop of helix 35 in domain II of 23S rRNA. In the footprinting experiments carried out with the ribosomes isolated form the erm-positive S. aureus strain N315, both CEM-101 and CEM-103 exhibited characteristic protections of nucleotide residues A752, A2059, G2505 and U2609. This result argues that both compounds are able to bind to the ribosomes dimethylated at A2058 by the action of erm methyltransferase. Conclusions: The new macrolides CEM-101 and CEM-103 demonstrate high and selective inhibitory activity in the in vitro protein synthesis assay. Both compounds bind in the characteristic macrolide-binding site in the large ribosomal subunit. However, CEM-101 and CEM-103 appear to exhibit superior ability to bind to the ribosomes dimethylated at 2058.