The biosynthesis of methionine is an attractive antibiotic target given its importance in protein and DNA metabolism and its absence in mammals. We have performed a high-throughput screen of the methionine biosynthesis enzyme cystathionine beta-lyase (CBL) against a library of 50 000 small molecules and have identified several compounds that inhibit CBL enzyme activity in vitro. These hit molecules were of two classes: those that blocked CBL activity with mixed steady-state inhibition and those that covalently interacted with the enzyme at the active site pyridoxal phosphate cofactor with slow-binding inhibition kinetics. We determined the crystal structure of one of the slow-binding inhibitors in complex with CBL and used this structure as a guide in the synthesis of a small, focused library of analogues, some of which had improved enzyme inhibition properties. These studies provide the first lead molecules for antimicrobial agents that target cystathionine beta-lyase in methionine biosynthesis.
Ejim LJ, Blanchard JE, Koteva KP, Sumerfield R, Elowe NH, Chechetto JD, Brown ED, Junop MS, Wright GD.
J Med Chem. 2007 Feb 22;50(4):755-64.