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Benzothiazinones Kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Blocking Arabinan Synthesis

Science  08 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5928, pp. 801-804
DOI: 10.1126/science.1171583

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Abstract

New drugs are required to counter the tuberculosis (TB) pandemic. Here, we describe the synthesis and characterization of 1,3-benzothiazin-4-ones (BTZs), a new class of antimycobacterial agents that kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vitro, ex vivo, and in mouse models of TB. Using genetics and biochemistry, we identified the enzyme decaprenylphosphoryl-β-d-ribose 2′-epimerase as a major BTZ target. Inhibition of this enzymatic activity abolishes the formation of decaprenylphosphoryl arabinose, a key precursor that is required for the synthesis of the cell-wall arabinans, thus provoking cell lysis and bacterial death. The most advanced compound, BTZ043, is a candidate for inclusion in combination therapies for both drug-sensitive and extensively drug-resistant TB.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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