Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.9, 3611-3623, 2021
Screening of compound library identifies novel inhibitors against the MurA enzyme of Escherichia coli
Bacterial cell has always been an attractive target for anti-infective drug discovery. MurA (UDP-N-acetylglucosamine enolpyruvyl transferase) enzyme of Escherichia coli (E.coli) is crucial for peptidoglycan biosynthetic pathway, as it is involved in the early stages of bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. In the present study we aim to identify novel chemical structures targeting the MurA enzyme. For screening purpose, we used in silico approach (pharmacophore based strategy) for 52,026 library compounds (Chembridge, Chemdiv and in house synthetics) which resulted in identification of 50 compounds. These compounds were screened in vitro against MurA enzyme and release of inorganic phosphate (Pi) was estimated. Two compounds (IN00152 and IN00156) were found to inhibit MurA enzyme > 70% in primary screening and IC50 of 14.03 to 32.30 mu M respectively. These two hits were further evaluated for their mode of inhibition studies and whole-cell activity where we observed 2-4 folds increase in activity in presence of Permeabilizer EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). Combination studies were also performed with known antibiotics in presence of EDTA. Hits are reported for the first time against this target and our report also support the use of OM permeabilizer in combination with antibacterial compounds to address the permeability and efficacy issue. These lead hits can be further optimized for drug discovery.