Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 2012 Apr 3;51(13):2804-11. doi: 10.1021/bi300148v. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Inhibition of bacterial DD-peptidases (penicillin-binding proteins) in membranes and in vivo by peptidoglycan-mimetic boronic acids.

Author information

Department of Chemistry, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut 06459, United States.


The DD-peptidases or penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) catalyze the final steps of bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis and are inhibited by the β-lactam antibiotics. There is at present a question of whether the active site structure and activity of these enzymes is the same in the solubilized (truncated) DD-peptidase constructs employed in crystallographic and kinetics studies as in membrane-bound holoenzymes. Recent experiments with peptidoglycan-mimetic boronic acids have suggested that these transition state analogue-generating inhibitors may be able to induce reactive conformations of these enzymes and thus inhibit strongly. We have now, therefore, measured the dissociation constants of peptidoglycan-mimetic boronic acids from Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis PBPs in membrane preparations and, in the former case, in vivo, by means of competition experiments with the fluorescent penicillin Bocillin Fl. The experiments showed that the boronic acids bound measurably (K(i) < 1 mM) to the low-molecular mass PBPs but not to the high-molecular mass enzymes, both in membrane preparations and in whole cells. In two cases, E. coli PBP2 and PBP5, the dissociation constants obtained were very similar to those obtained with the pure enzymes in homogeneous solution. The boronic acids, therefore, are unable to induce tightly binding conformations of these enzymes in vivo. There is no evidence from these experiments that DD-peptidase inhibitors are more or less effective in vivo than in homogeneous solution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center