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The mechanism of action of quinolones was investigated by use of various DNA gyrases reconstituted from wild-type and mutant GyrA and GyrB proteins of Escherichia coli. The quinolone sensitivities of the DNA supercoiling activity of the gyrases were generally parallel to the quinolone susceptibilities of strains having the corresponding enzymes and depended on gyrase subunits but not on substrate DNA. [3H]Enoxacin did not bind to gyrase alone or DNA alone but bound to gyrase-DNA complexes when measured by a gel filtration method. There appeared to be two enoxacin binding phases, at low and high enoxacin concentrations, for the wild-type gyrase-DNA and type 2 GyrB (Lys-447 to Glu) mutant gyrase-DNA complexes but only one enoxacin binding phase at the concentrations used for the GyrA (Ser-83 to Leu) mutant gyrase-DNA and type 1 GyrB (Asp-426 to Asn) mutant gyrase-DNA complexes. New enoxacin binding sites appeared in the presence of enoxacin, and the enoxacin binding affinities for the sites, especially at low enoxacin concentrations, near the MICs for the strains having the corresponding gyrases, correlated well with the enoxacin sensitivities of the gyrases and the MICs. From the results obtained, we propose a quinolone pocket model as the mechanism of action of quinolones, in which quinolones exert their action through binding to a gyrase-DNA complex and the quinolone binding affinities for the complex are determined by both GyrA and GyrB subunits in concert.


H Yoshida, M Nakamura, M Bogaki, H Ito, T Kojima, H Hattori, S Nakamura. Mechanism of action of quinolones against Escherichia coli DNA gyrase. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 1993 Apr;37(4):839-45

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PMID: 8388200

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