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Anal Biochem. 2002 Jul 1;306(1):17-22.

A multitarget assay for inhibitors of membrane-associated steps of peptidoglycan biosynthesis.

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Department of Antimicrobial Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, Delaware 19880, USA.


Peptidoglycan synthesis begins in the cytoplasm with the condensation of UDP-N-acetyl glucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) and phosphoenolpyruvate catalyzed by UDP-N-acetylglucosamine enolpyruvoyl transferase. UDP-GlcNAc is also utilized as substrate for the glycosyltransferase MurG, a membrane-bound enzyme that catalyzes the production of lipid II. Membranes from Escherichia coli cells overproducing MurG support peptidoglycan formation at a rate approximately fivefold faster than membranes containing wild-type levels of MurG. Conditions have been optimized for the production of large amounts of membranes with increased levels of MurG, allowing the development of an assay suitable for high-throughput screening of large compound libraries. The quality of the purified membranes was assessed by electron microscopy and also by testing cross-linked peptidoglycan production. Moreover, kinetic studies allowed the determination of optimal concentrations of the substrates and membranes to be utilized for maximum sensitivity of the assay. Using a 96-well assay format, the IC50 values for vancomycin, tunicamycin, flavomycin, and bacitracin were 1.1 microM, 0.01 microg/ml, 0.03 microg/ml, and 0.7 microg/ml, respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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