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Structure-activity relationships in a new class of non-substrate-like covalent inhibitors of the bacterial glycosyltransferase LgtC

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yong Xu, Jon Cuccui, Carmen Denman, Tripty Maharjan, Brendan W. Wren, Gerd K. Wagner

Original languageEnglish
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Early online date6 Mar 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2018

King's Authors


Lipooligosaccharide (LOS) structures in the outer core of Gram-negative mucosal pathogens such as Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae contain characteristic glycoepitopes that contribute significantly to bacterial virulence. An important example is the digalactoside epitope generated by the retaining α-1,4-galactosyltransferase LgtC. These digalactosides camouflage the pathogen from the host immune system and increase its serum resistance. Small molecular inhibitors of LgtC are therefore sought after as chemical tools to study bacterial virulence, and as potential candidates for anti-virulence drug discovery. We have recently discovered a new class of non-substrate-like inhibitors of LgtC. The new inhibitors act via a covalent mode of action, targeting a non-catalytic cysteine residue in the LgtC active site. Here, we describe, for the first time, structure-activity relationships for this new class of glycosyltransferase inhibitors. We have carried out a detailed analysis of the inhibition kinetics to establish the relative contribution of the non-covalent binding and the covalent inactivation steps for overall inhibitory activity. Selected inhibitors were also evaluated against a serum-resistant strain of Haemophilus influenzae, but did not enhance the killing effect of human serum.

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