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    Flavodoxins are small soluble electron transfer proteins widely present in bacteria and absent in vertebrates. Flavodoxins participate in different metabolic pathways and, in some bacteria, they have been shown to be essential proteins representing promising therapeutic targets to fight bacterial infections. Using purified flavodoxin and chemical libraries, leads can be identified that block flavodoxin function and act as bactericidal molecules, as it has been demonstrated for Helicobacter pylori (Hp), the most prevalent human gastric pathogen. Increasing antimicrobial resistance by this bacterium has led current therapies to lose effectiveness, so alternative treatments are urgently required. Here, we summarize, with a focus on flavodoxin, opportunities for pharmacological intervention offered by the potential protein targets described for this bacterium and provide information on other gastrointestinal pathogens and also on bacteria from the gut microbiota that contain flavodoxin. The process of discovery and development of novel antimicrobials specific for Hp flavodoxin that is being carried out in our group is explained, as it can be extrapolated to the discovery of inhibitors specific for other gastric pathogens. The high specificity for Hp of the antimicrobials developed may be of help to reduce damage to the gut microbiota and to slow down the development of resistant Hp mutants.

    Citation

    Sandra Salillas, Javier Sancho. Flavodoxins as Novel Therapeutic Targets against Helicobacter pylori and Other Gastric Pathogens. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Mar 10;21(5)

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    PMID: 32164177

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