Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

An efficient way to screen inhibitors of energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporters in bacteria uptake assay

Authors

Abstract

Herein, we report a novel whole-cell screening assay using Lactobacillus casei as model microorganism to identify inhibitors of energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporters. This promising and underexplored target may have important pharmacological potential through modulation of vitamin homeostasis in bacteria and, importantly, it is absent in humans. The assay represents an alternative, cost-effective and fast solution to demonstrate the direct involvement of these membrane transporters in a native biological environment rather than using a low-throughput in vitro assay employing reconstituted proteins in a membrane bilayer system. Based on this new whole-cell screening approach, we demonstrated the optimization of a weak hit compound (2) into a small molecule (3) with improved in vitro and whole-cell activities. This study opens the possibility to quickly identify novel inhibitors of ECF transporters and optimize them based on structure–activity relationships.

Content

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Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of HIT2_ECF_SI.docx
An efficient way to screen inhibitors of energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporters in bacteria uptake assay
The Supportin information describes the experiments performed in the main text