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Mechanistic assessment of DNA ligase as an antibacterial target in Staphylococcus aureus

, : Mechanistic assessment of DNA ligase as an antibacterial target in Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 56(8): 4095-4102

We report the use of a known pyridochromanone inhibitor with antibacterial activity to assess the validity of NAD+-dependent DNA ligase (LigA) as an antibacterial target in Staphylococcus aureus. Potent inhibition of purified LigA was demonstrated in a DNA ligation assay (inhibition constant [Ki] = 4. nM) and in a DNA-independent enzyme adenylation assay using full-length LigA (5% inhibitory concentration [IC5] = 28 nM) or its isolated adenylation domain (IC5 = 36 nM). Antistaphylococcal activity was confirmed against methicillin-susceptible and -resistant S. aureus (MSSA and MRSA) strains (MIC = μg/ml). Analysis of spontaneous resistance potential revealed a high frequency of emergence (4 x 1–7) of high-level resistant mutants (MIC > 64) with associated ligA lesions. There were no observable effects on growth rate in these mutants. Of 22 sequenced clones, 3 encoded point substitutions within the catalytic adenylation domain and 19 in the downstream oligonucleotide-binding (OB) fold and helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) domains. In vitro characterization of the enzymatic properties of four selected mutants revealed distinct signatures underlying their resistance to inhibition. The infrequent adenylation domain mutations altered the kinetics of adenylation and probably elicited resistance directly. In contrast, the highly represented OB fold domain mutations demonstrated a generalized resistance mechanism in which covalent LigA activation proceeds normally and yet the parameters of downstream ligation steps are altered. A resulting decrease in substrate Km and a consequent increase in substrate occupancy render LigA resistant to competitive inhibition. We conclude that the observed tolerance of staphylococcal cells to such hypomorphic mutations probably invalidates LigA as a viable target for antistaphylococcal chemotherapy.


PMID: 22585221

DOI: 10.1128/AAC.00215-12

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