4 years ago

Phosphonodifluoropyruvate is a mechanism-based inhibitor of phosphonopyruvate decarboxylase from Bacteroides fragilis

Phosphonodifluoropyruvate is a mechanism-based inhibitor of phosphonopyruvate decarboxylase from Bacteroides fragilis
Bacteroides fragilis, a human pathogen, helps in the formation of intra-abdominal abscesses and is involved in 90% of anaerobic peritoneal infections. Phosphonopyruvate decarboxylase (PnPDC), a thiamin diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent enzyme, plays a key role in the formation of 2-aminoethylphosphonate, a component of the cell wall of B. fragilis. As such PnPDC is a possible target for therapeutic intervention in this, and other phosphonate producing organisms. However, the enzyme is of more general interest as it appears to be an evolutionary forerunner to the decarboxylase family of ThDP-dependent enzymes. To date, PnPDC has proved difficult to crystallize and no X-ray structures are available. In the past we have shown that ThDP-dependent enzymes will often crystallize if the cofactor has been irreversibly inactivated. To explore this possibility, and the utility of inhibitors of phosphonate biosynthesis as potential antibiotics, we synthesized phosphonodifluoropyruvate (PnDFP) as a prospective mechanism-based inhibitor of PnPDC. Here we provide evidence that PnDFP indeed inactivates the enzyme, that the inactivation is irreversible, and is accompanied by release of fluoride ion, i.e., PnDFP bears all the hallmarks of a mechanism-based inhibitor. Unfortunately, the enzyme remains refractive to crystallization.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0968089617308441

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