Mechanism and inhibition of saFabI, the enoyl reductase from Staphylococcus aureus.

Hua XuPeter J Tonge


Approximately one-third of the world's population carries Staphylococcus aureus. The recent emergence of extreme drug resistant strains that are resistant to the "antibiotic of last resort", vancomycin, has caused a further increase in the pressing need to discover new drugs against this organism. The S. aureus enoyl reductase, saFabI, is a validated target for drug discovery. To drive the development of potent and selective saFabI inhibitors, we have studied the mechanism of the enzyme and analyzed the interaction of saFabI with triclosan and two related diphenyl ether inhibitors. Results from kinetic assays reveal that saFabI is NADPH-dependent, and prefers acyl carrier protein substrates carrying fatty acids with long acyl chains. On the basis of product inhibition studies, we propose that the reaction proceeds via an ordered sequential ternary complex, with the ACP substrate binding first, followed by NADPH. The interaction of NADPH with the enzyme has been further explored by site-directed mutagenesis, and residues R40 and K41 have been shown to be involved in determining the specificity of the enzyme for NADPH compared to NADH. Finally, in preliminary inhibition studies, we have shown that triclosan, 5-ethyl-2-phenoxyphen...Continue Reading


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