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Biochemistry. 2016 Feb 23;55(7):1091-9. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.5b00832. Epub 2016 Feb 9.

β-Hydroxyacyl-acyl Carrier Protein Dehydratase (FabZ) from Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis: Structure Determination, Enzymatic Characterization, and Cross-Inhibition Studies.

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Biology Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory , Upton, New York 11973, United States.


The bacterial system for fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS) contains several enzymes whose sequence and structure are highly conserved across a vast array of pathogens. This, coupled with their low homology and difference in organization compared to the equivalent system in humans, makes the FAS pathway an excellent target for antimicrobial drug development. To this end, we have cloned, expressed, and purified the β-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein dehydratase (FabZ) from both Francisella tularensis (FtFabZ) and Yersinia pestis (YpFabZ). We also solved the crystal structures and performed an enzymatic characterization of both enzymes and several mutant forms of YpFabZ. Additionally, we have discovered two novel inhibitors of FabZ, mangostin and stictic acid, which show similar potencies against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. Lastly, we selected several compounds from the literature that have been shown to be active against single homologues of FabZ and tested them against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. These results have revealed clues as to which scaffolds are likely to lead to broad-spectrum antimicrobials targeted against FabZ as well as modifications to existing FabZ inhibitors that may improve potency.

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