The long-term goals of this research are to explore the role of c-di-GMP in regulating bacterial signaling and to develop small molecules that interfere with c-di-GMP signaling pathways. C-di-GMP is a bacterial second messenger that commonly regulates biofilm formation in numerous human pathogens, including, among others, Vibrio sp., Salmonella typhimurium, Yersinia pestis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Cellular levels of c-di-GMP are controlled by the opposing activities of diguanylate cyclases that synthesize c-di-GMP and phosphodiesterases that hydrolyze it. C-di-GMP, diguanylate cyclases, and c-di-GMP phosphodiesterases are not found in humans, making c-di-GMP signaling systems an attractive target for anti-bacterial intervention. Here we propose to determine X-ray crystal structures of diguanylate cyclases in complex with different digualylate cyclase inhibitors. The inhibitors were identified using a high-throughput in vivo genetic screen, demonstrated to specifically inhibit the enzymatic activity of multiple digualylate cyclases from different bacterial species in vitro, and shown to repress biofilm formation under static or flow conditions. The X-ray crystal structures will reveal the mechanistic basis of inhibitor function, e.g., whether the inhibitors are binding to the diguanylate cyclase active site and acting as competitive inhibitors, and also identify the inhibitor functional groups mediating the compound-target interactions. This information will drive structure-activity relationship studies designed t generate tighter binding antagonists through iterative rounds of compound redesign, synthesis, and in vivo genetic and in vitro biochemical analysis.

Public Health Relevance

The number of deaths resulting from infections involving bacterial biofilms and the expense of treating these infections are similar to those associated with cancer. The host immune response and conventional antibiotics are ineffective against biofilm infections. The studies proposed here will guide the development of a new class of antibiotics that function to repress biofilm formation in diverse pathogenic bacterial species.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
1R03AI101669-01A1
Application #
8582834
Study Section
Drug Discovery and Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance Study Section (DDR)
Program Officer
Korpela, Jukka K
Project Start
2013-06-01
Project End
2013-06-30
Budget Start
2013-06-01
Budget End
2013-06-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$5,301
Indirect Cost
$1,946
Name
University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ
Department
Microbiology/Immun/Virology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
623946217
City
Newark
State
NJ
Country
United States
Zip Code
07107