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Peptide Inhibitors Targeting the \u3cem\u3eNeisseria gonorrhoeae\u3c/em\u3e Pivotal Anaerobic Respiration Factor AniA

By Aleksandra E. Sikora, Robert H. Mills, Jacob V. Weber, Adel Hamza, Bryan W. Passow, Andrew Romaine, Zachary A. Williamson, Robert W. Reed, Ryszard A. Zielke and Konstantin V. Korotkov


Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea, which is highly prevalent worldwide and has a major impact on reproductive and neonatal health. The superbug status of N. gonorrhoeae necessitates the development of drugs with different mechanisms of action. Here, we focused on targeting the nitrite reductase AniA, which is a pivotal component of N. gonorrhoeae anaerobic respiration and biofilm formation. Our studies showed that gonococci expressing AniA containing the altered catalytic residues D137A and H280A failed to grow under anaerobic conditions, demonstrating that the nitrite reductase function is essential. To facilitate the pharmacological targeting of AniA, new crystal structures of AniA were refined to 1.90-Å and 2.35-Å resolutions, and a phage display approach with libraries expressing randomized linear dodecameric peptides or heptameric peptides flanked by a pair of cysteine residues was utilized. Biopanning experiments led to the identification of 29 unique peptides, with 1 of them, C7-3, being identified multiple times. Evaluation of their ability to interact with AniA using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and computational docking studies revealed that C7-3 was the most promising inhibitor, binding near the type 2 copper site of the enzyme, which is responsible for interaction with nitrite. Subsequent enzymatic assays and biolayer interferometry with a synthetic C7-3 and its derivatives, C7-3m1 and C7-3m2, demonstrated potent inhibition of AniA. Finally, the MIC50 value of C7-3 and C7-3m2 against anaerobically grown N. gonorrhoeae was 0.6 mM. We present the first peptide inhibitors of AniA, an enzyme that should be further exploited for antigonococcal drug development

Topics: Neisseria gonorrhoeae, anaerobic respiration, AniA, nitrite reductase, phage display, peptide inhibitors, crystal structure, docking studies, biolayer interferometry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology, Chemicals and Drugs, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Microbiology
Publisher: 'American Society for Microbiology'
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1128/AAC.00186-17
OAI identifier:

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