Identification of compounds with potential antibacterial activity against Mycobacterium through structure-based drug screening.
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To identify novel antibiotics against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we performed a hierarchical structure-based drug screening (SBDS) targeting the enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (InhA) with a compound library of 154,118 chemicals. We then evaluated whether the candidate hit compounds exhibited inhibitory effects on the growth of two model mycobacterial strains: Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium vanbaalenii. Two compounds (KE3 and KE4) showed potent inhibitory effects against both model mycobacterial strains. In addition, we rescreened KE4 analogs, which were identified from a compound library of 461,383 chemicals through fingerprint analysis and genetic algorithm-based docking simulations. All of the KE4 analogs (KES1-KES5) exhibited inhibitory effects on the growth of M. smegmatis and/or M. vanbaalenii. Based on the predicted binding modes, we probed the structure-activity relationships of KE4 and its analogs and found a correlative relationship between the IC50 values and the interaction residues/LogP values. The most potent inhibitor, compound KES4, strongly and stably inhibited the long-term growth of the model bacteria and showed higher inhibitory effects (IC50 = 4.8 M) than isoniazid (IC50 = 5.4 M), which is a first-line drug for tuberculosis therapy. Moreover, compound KES4 did not exhibit any toxic effects that impede cell growth in several mammalian cell lines and enterobacteria. The structural and experimental information of these novel chemical compounds will likely be useful for the development of new anti-TB drugs. Furthermore, the methodology that was used for the identification of the effective chemical compound is also likely to be effective in the SBDS of other candidate medicinal drugs.