Carboxy ester prodrugs are widely employed to increase oral absorption and potency of phosphonate antibiotics. Prodrugging can mask problematic chemical features that prevent cellular uptake and may enable tissue specific compound delivery. However, many carboxy ester promoieties are rapidly hydrolyzed by serum esterases, limiting their therapeutic potential. While carboxy ester-based prodrug targeting is feasible, it has seen limited use in microbes as microbial esterase specific promoieties have not been described. Here we identify the bacterial esterases, GloB and FrmB, that activate carboxy ester prodrugs in Staphylococcus aureus. Additionally, we determine the substrate specificities for FrmB and GloB and demonstrate the structural basis of these preferences. Finally, we establish the carboxy ester substrate specificities of human and mouse sera, ultimately identifying several promoieties likely to be serum esterase-resistant and microbially labile. These studies will enable structure-guided design of anti-staphylococcal promoieties and expand the range of molecules to target staphylococcal pathogens.
Sequencing data and structure data is provided in the manuscript and deposited on the NCBI BioProject database (PRJNA648156) or in the protein data bank (FrmB accession code 7L0A, GloB accession code 7L0B).
Understanding Staphylococcus aureus resistance to POM-HEXNCBI BioProject database, PRJNA648156.
- Audrey R Odom John
- Joseph Jez
- Audrey R Odom John
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Bavesh D Kana, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
© 2021, Miller et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Profilin-1 (PFN1) is a cytoskeletal protein that regulates the dynamics of actin and microtubule assembly. Thus, PFN1 is essential for the normal division, motility, and morphology of cells. Unfortunately, conventional fusion and direct labeling strategies compromise different facets of PFN1 function. As a consequence, the only methods used to determine known PFN1 functions have been indirect and often deduced in cell-free biochemical assays. We engineered and characterized two genetically encoded versions of tagged PFN1 that behave identical to each other and the tag-free protein. In biochemical assays purified proteins bind to phosphoinositide lipids, catalyze nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, stimulate formin-mediated actin filament assembly, and bound tubulin dimers (kD = 1.89 µM) to impact microtubule dynamics. In PFN1-deficient mammalian cells, Halo-PFN1 or mApple-PFN1 (mAp-PEN1) restored morphological and cytoskeletal functions. Titrations of self-labeling Halo-ligands were used to visualize molecules of PFN1. This approach combined with specific function-disrupting point-mutants (Y6D and R88E) revealed PFN1 bound to microtubules in live cells. Cells expressing the ALS-associated G118V disease variant did not associate with actin filaments or microtubules. Thus, these tagged PFN1s are reliable tools for studying the dynamic interactions of PFN1 with actin or microtubules in vitro as well as in important cell processes or disease-states.