An Experimental Toolbox for Structure-Based Hit Discovery for P. Aeruginosa FabF, a Promising Target for Antibiotics

03 May 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


FabF (3-oxoacyl-[acyl-carrier-protein] synthase 2), which catalyses the rate limiting condensation reaction in the fatty acid synthesis II pathway, is an attractive target for new antibiotics. Here, we focus on FabF from P. aeruginosa (PaFabF) as antibiotics against this pathogen are urgently needed. To facilitate exploration of this target we have set up an experimental toolbox consisting of binding assays using bio-layer interferometry as well as saturation transfer difference (STD) and WaterLOGSY NMR in addition to robust conditions for structure determination. The suitability of the toolbox to support structure-based design of FabF inhibitors was demonstrated through the validation of hits obtained from virtual screening. Screening of our in-house library of almost 5 million compounds resulted in 6 compounds for which binding into the malonyl-binding site of FabF was shown. For one of the hits, the crystal structure in complex with PaFabF was determined. Based on the obtained binding mode, analogues were designed and synthesised, but affinity could not be improved. This work has laid the foundation for structure-based exploration of PaFabF.


bio-layer Interferometry
virtual screening
WaterLOGSY NMR spectroscopy
STD NMR experiments
structure-based drug design techniques


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