Resistance of bacterial pathogens against antibiotics is declared by WHO as a major global health threat. As novel antibacterial agents are urgently needed, we re-assessed the broad-spectrum myxobacterial antibiotic myxovalargin and found it to be extremely potent against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To ensure compound supply for further development we studied myxovalargin biosynthesis in detail enabling production via fermentation of a native producer. Feeding experiments as well as functional genomics analysis suggested a structural revision, which was eventually corroborated by development of a concise total synthesis. The ribosome was identified as the molecular target based on resistant mutant sequencing and a cryo-EM structure revealed that myxovalargin binds within and completely occludes the exit tunnel, consistent with a mode of action to arrest translation during a late stage of translation initiation. Pharmacokinetic and initial in vivo efficacy studies indicated that myxovalargin and analogues show potential for development as an antibacterial agent.
Supporting information including methods