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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Oct 8;130(40):13400-9. doi: 10.1021/ja803349j. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Beta-lactams as selective chemical probes for the in vivo labeling of bacterial enzymes involved in cell wall biosynthesis, antibiotic resistance, and virulence.

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Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich CIPS(M), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Butenandtstrasse 5-13, 81377 Munich, Germany.


With the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, infectious diseases have become again a life-threatening problem. One of the reasons for this dilemma is the limited number and breadth of current therapeutic targets for which several resistance strategies have evolved over time. To expand the number of addressable enzyme targets and to understand their function, activity, and regulation, we utilized a chemical proteomic strategy, called activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) pioneered by Cravatt, for the identification of beta-lactam-binding enzymes under in vivo conditions. In this two-tiered strategy, we first prepared a selection of conventional antibiotics for labeling diverse penicillin binding proteins (PBPs) and second introduced a new synthetic generation of beta-lactam probes, which labeled and inhibited a selection of additional PBP unrelated bacterial targets. Among these, the virulence-associated enzyme ClpP and a resistance-associated beta-lactamase were labeled and inhibited by selected probes, indicating that the specificity of beta-lactams can be adjusted to versatile enzyme families with important cellular functions.

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