Research Article

Targeting DnaN for tuberculosis therapy using novel griselimycins

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Science  05 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6239, pp. 1106-1112
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4690

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New for old—TB drug development

Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health threat for which there is only lengthy drug treatment. Patients need to consume multiple tablets over several months and frequently fail to complete their treatment. Consequently, drug-resistant strains of the pathogen have emerged, which add to the threat. Kling et al. revisited a natural product called griselimycin, extracted from the same organism that produced the prototype anti-TB drug, streptomycin. Unmodified griselimycin has poor pharmacological properties. However, one synthetic derivative had improved oral uptake and penetrated cells of the immune system that harbor the TB mycobacterium. In combination with other drugs, the griselimycin derivative showed high potency in mice with TB.

Science, this issue p. 1106


The discovery of Streptomyces-produced streptomycin founded the age of tuberculosis therapy. Despite the subsequent development of a curative regimen for this disease, tuberculosis remains a worldwide problem, and the emergence of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis has prioritized the need for new drugs. Here we show that new optimized derivatives from Streptomyces-derived griselimycin are highly active against M. tuberculosis, both in vitro and in vivo, by inhibiting the DNA polymerase sliding clamp DnaN. We discovered that resistance to griselimycins, occurring at very low frequency, is associated with amplification of a chromosomal segment containing dnaN, as well as the ori site. Our results demonstrate that griselimycins have high translational potential for tuberculosis treatment, validate DnaN as an antimicrobial target, and capture the process of antibiotic pressure-induced gene amplification.

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