5 years ago

MmpL3 is the flippase for mycolic acids in mycobacteria [Biochemistry]

MmpL3 is the flippase for mycolic acids in mycobacteria [Biochemistry]
Giovanna Poce, Shu-Sin Chng, Vladimir A. Meshcheryakov, Zhujun Xu

The defining feature of the mycobacterial outer membrane (OM) is the presence of mycolic acids (MAs), which, in part, render the bilayer extremely hydrophobic and impermeable to external insults, including many antibiotics. Although the biosynthetic pathway of MAs is well studied, the mechanism(s) by which these lipids are transported across the cell envelope is(are) much less known. Mycobacterial membrane protein Large 3 (MmpL3), an essential inner membrane (IM) protein, is implicated in MA transport, but its exact function has not been elucidated. It is believed to be the cellular target of several antimycobacterial compounds; however, evidence for direct inhibition of MmpL3 activity is also lacking. Here, we establish that MmpL3 is the MA flippase at the IM of mycobacteria and is the molecular target of BM212, a 1,5-diarylpyrrole compound. We develop assays that selectively access mycolates on the surface of Mycobacterium smegmatis spheroplasts, allowing us to monitor flipping of MAs across the IM. Using these assays, we establish the mechanism of action of BM212 as a potent MmpL3 inhibitor, and use it as a molecular probe to demonstrate the requirement for functional MmpL3 in the transport of MAs across the IM. Finally, we show that BM212 binds MmpL3 directly and inhibits its activity. Our work provides fundamental insights into OM biogenesis and MA transport in mycobacteria. Furthermore, our assays serve as an important platform for accelerating the validation of small molecules that target MmpL3, and their development as future antituberculosis drugs.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.