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J Bacteriol. 2012 Feb;194(3):663-8. doi: 10.1128/JB.06142-11. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Validation of the essential ClpP protease in Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a novel drug target.

Author information

  • 1TB Discovery Research, Infectious Disease Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Abstract

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a pathogen of major global importance. Validated drug targets are required in order to develop novel therapeutics for drug-resistant strains and to shorten therapy. The Clp protease complexes provide a means for quality control of cellular proteins; the proteolytic activity of ClpP in concert with the ATPase activity of the ClpX/ClpC subunits results in degradation of misfolded or damaged proteins. Thus, the Clp system plays a major role in basic metabolism, as well as in stress responses and pathogenic mechanisms. M. tuberculosis has two ClpP proteolytic subunits. Here we demonstrate that ClpP1 is essential for viability in this organism in culture, since the gene could only be deleted from the chromosome when a second functional copy was provided. Overexpression of clpP1 had no effect on growth in aerobic culture or viability under anaerobic conditions or during nutrient starvation. In contrast, clpP2 overexpression was toxic, suggesting different roles for the two homologs. We synthesized known activators of ClpP protease activity; these acyldepsipeptides (ADEPs) were active against M. tuberculosis. ADEP activity was enhanced by the addition of efflux pump inhibitors, demonstrating that ADEPs gain access to the cell but that export occurs. Taken together, the genetic and chemical validation of ClpP as a drug target leads to new avenues for drug discovery.

PMID:
22123255
PMCID:
PMC3264079
DOI:
10.1128/JB.06142-11
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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