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Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are ubiquitous and essential enzymes for protein synthesis and also a variety of other metabolic processes, especially in bacterial species. Bacterial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases represent attractive and validated targets for antimicrobial drug discovery if issues of prokaryotic versus eukaryotic selectivity and antibiotic resistance generation can be addressed. We have determined high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of the Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus seryl-tRNA synthetases in complex with aminoacyl adenylate analogues and applied a structure-based drug discovery approach to explore and identify a series of small molecule inhibitors that selectively inhibit bacterial seryl-tRNA synthetases with greater than 2 orders of magnitude compared to their human homologue, demonstrating a route to the selective chemical inhibition of these bacterial targets.


Ricky Cain, Ramya Salimraj, Avinash S Punekar, Dom Bellini, Colin W G Fishwick, Lloyd Czaplewski, David J Scott, Gemma Harris, Christopher G Dowson, Adrian J Lloyd, David I Roper. Structure-Guided Enhancement of Selectivity of Chemical Probe Inhibitors Targeting Bacterial Seryl-tRNA Synthetase. Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2019 Nov 14;62(21):9703-9717

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PMID: 31626547

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