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ChemMedChem. 2014 Feb;9(2):282-5. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201300386. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

Identification of low-molecular-weight compounds inhibiting growth of corynebacteria: potential lead compounds for antibiotics.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0304 (USA).


The bacterial genus Corynebacteria contains several pathogenic species that cause diseases such as diphtheria in humans and "cheesy gland" in goats and sheep. Thus, identifying new therapeutic targets to treat Corynebacteria infections is both medically and economically important. CG2496, a functionally uncharacterized protein from Corynebacterium glutamicum, was evaluated using an NMR ligand-affinity screen. A total of 11 compounds from a library of 460 biologically active compounds were shown to selectively bind CG2496 in a highly conserved region of the protein. The best binder was identified to be methiothepin (KD =54 ± 19 µM), an FDA-approved serotonin receptor antagonist. Methiothepin was also shown to inhibit the growth of C. glutamicum, but not bacteria that lack CG2496 homologs. Our results suggest that CG2496 is a novel therapeutic target and methiothepin is a potential lead compound or structural scaffold for developing new antibiotics specifically targeting Corynebacteria.


Corynebacteria; FAST-NMR; NMR spectroscopy; antibiotics; drug discovery

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