4 years ago

Lipid II overproduction allows direct assay of transpeptidase inhibition by β-lactams

Lipid II overproduction allows direct assay of transpeptidase inhibition by β-lactams
Daniel Kahne, Frederick Rubino, Natividad Ruiz, Yuan Qiao, Suzanne Walker, Kaitlin Schaefer, Veerasak Srisuknimit
Peptidoglycan is an essential crosslinked polymer that surrounds bacteria and protects them from osmotic lysis. β-lactam antibiotics target the final stages of peptidoglycan biosynthesis by inhibiting the transpeptidases that crosslink glycan strands to complete cell wall assembly. Characterization of transpeptidases and their inhibition by β-lactams have been hampered by lack of access to a suitable substrate. We describe a general approach to accumulate Lipid II in bacteria and to obtain large quantities of this cell wall precursor. We demonstrate the utility of this strategy by isolating Staphylococcus aureus Lipid II and reconstituting the synthesis of crosslinked peptidoglycan by the essential penicillin-binding protein 2 (PBP2), which catalyzes both glycan polymerization and transpeptidation. We also show that we can compare the potencies of different β-lactams by directly monitoring transpeptidase inhibition. The methods reported here will enable a better understanding of cell wall biosynthesis and facilitate studies of next-generation transpeptidase inhibitors.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.2388

DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2388

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