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Science ; 372(6547): 1169-1175, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583231


Emergent resistance to all clinical antibiotics calls for the next generation of therapeutics. Here we report an effective antimicrobial strategy targeting the bacterial hydrogen sulfide (H2S)-mediated defense system. We identified cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) as the primary generator of H2S in two major human pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and discovered small molecules that inhibit bacterial CSE. These inhibitors potentiate bactericidal antibiotics against both pathogens in vitro and in mouse models of infection. CSE inhibitors also suppress bacterial tolerance, disrupting biofilm formation and substantially reducing the number of persister bacteria that survive antibiotic treatment. Our results establish bacterial H2S as a multifunctional defense factor and CSE as a drug target for versatile antibiotic enhancers.

Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Cystathionine gamma-Lyase/antagonists & inhibitors , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Hydrogen Sulfide/metabolism , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/drug effects , Staphylococcus aureus/drug effects , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Anti-Bacterial Agents/metabolism , Biofilms , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cystathionine gamma-Lyase/chemistry , Cystathionine gamma-Lyase/genetics , Cystathionine gamma-Lyase/metabolism , Drug Discovery , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Drug Synergism , Drug Tolerance , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors/metabolism , Mice , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Models, Molecular , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , Pseudomonas Infections/drug therapy , Pseudomonas Infections/microbiology , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/enzymology , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/genetics , Pseudomonas aeruginosa/growth & development , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Small Molecule Libraries/metabolism , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Staphylococcal Infections/drug therapy , Staphylococcal Infections/microbiology , Staphylococcus aureus/enzymology , Staphylococcus aureus/genetics , Staphylococcus aureus/growth & development
mBio ; 12(3): e0142321, 2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280400


The catalytic subunit of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) Nsp12 has a unique nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase (NiRAN) domain that transfers nucleoside monophosphates to the Nsp9 protein and the nascent RNA. The NiRAN and RdRp modules form a dynamic interface distant from their catalytic sites, and both activities are essential for viral replication. We report that codon-optimized (for the pause-free translation in bacterial cells) Nsp12 exists in an inactive state in which NiRAN-RdRp interactions are broken, whereas translation by slow ribosomes and incubation with accessory Nsp7/8 subunits or nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs) partially rescue RdRp activity. Our data show that adenosine and remdesivir triphosphates promote the synthesis of A-less RNAs, as does ppGpp, while amino acid substitutions at the NiRAN-RdRp interface augment activation, suggesting that ligand binding to the NiRAN catalytic site modulates RdRp activity. The existence of allosterically linked nucleotidyl transferase sites that utilize the same substrates has important implications for understanding the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 replication and the design of its inhibitors. IMPORTANCE In vitro interrogations of the central replicative complex of SARS-CoV-2, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), by structural, biochemical, and biophysical methods yielded an unprecedented windfall of information that, in turn, instructs drug development and administration, genomic surveillance, and other aspects of the evolving pandemic response. They also illuminated the vast disparity in the methods used to produce RdRp for experimental work and the hidden impact that this has on enzyme activity and research outcomes. In this report, we elucidate the positive and negative effects of codon optimization on the activity and folding of the recombinant RdRp and detail the design of a highly sensitive in vitro assay of RdRp-dependent RNA synthesis. Using this assay, we demonstrate that RdRp is allosterically activated by nontemplating phosphorylated nucleotides, including naturally occurring alarmone ppGpp and synthetic remdesivir triphosphate.

Adenosine Triphosphate/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Guanosine Tetraphosphate/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Catalytic Domain/physiology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Humans , Ribosomes/metabolism