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J Med Chem. 2008 Oct 9;51(19):6110-20. doi: 10.1021/jm8005788. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

Discovery of inhibitors of Escherichia coli methionine aminopeptidase with the Fe(II)-form selectivity and antibacterial activity.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.


Methionine aminopeptidase (MetAP) is a promising target to develop novel antibiotics, because all bacteria express MetAP from a single gene that carries out the essential function of removing N-terminal methionine from nascent proteins. Divalent metal ions play a critical role in the catalysis, and there is an urgent need to define the actual metal used by MetAP in bacterial cells. By high throughput screening, we identified a novel class of catechol-containing MetAP inhibitors that display selectivity for the Fe(II)-form of MetAP. X-ray structure revealed that the inhibitor binds to MetAP at the active site with the catechol coordinating to the metal ions. Importantly, some of the inhibitors showed antibacterial activity at low micromolar concentration on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Our data indicate that Fe(II) is the likely metal used by MetAP in the cellular environment, and MetAP inhibitors need to inhibit this metalloform of MetAP effectively to be therapeutically useful.

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