Bedaquiline reprograms central metabolism to reveal glycolytic vulnerability in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • The approval of bedaquiline (BDQ) for the treatment of tuberculosis has generated substantial interest in inhibiting energy metabolism as a therapeutic paradigm. However, it is not known precisely how BDQ triggers cell death in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Using 13C isotopomer analysis, we show that BDQ-treated Mtb redirects central carbon metabolism to induce a metabolically vulnerable state susceptible to genetic disruption of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Metabolic flux profiles indicate that BDQ-treated Mtb is dependent on glycolysis for ATP production, operates a bifurcated TCA cycle by increasing flux through the glyoxylate shunt, and requires enzymes of the anaplerotic node and methylcitrate cycle. Targeting oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) with BDQ and simultaneously inhibiting substrate level phosphorylation via genetic disruption of glycolysis leads to rapid sterilization. Our findings provide insight into the metabolic mechanism of BDQ-induced cell death and establish a paradigm for the development of combination therapies that target OXPHOS and glycolysis.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 11.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Mackenzie, J. S., Lamprecht, D. A., Asmal, R., Adamson, J. H., Borah, K., Beste, D., ... Steyn, A.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Mackenzie, Jared S||Lamprecht, Dirk A||Asmal, Rukaya||Adamson, John H||Borah, Khushboo||Beste, Dany JV||Lee, Bei Shi||Pethe, Kevin||Rousseau, Simon||Krieger, Inna||Sacchettini, James C||Glasgow, Joel N||Steyn, Adrie JC

publication date

  • November 2020