Histidine kinases as targets for new antimicrobial agents

Bioorg Med Chem. 2002 Apr;10(4):855-67. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0896(01)00355-8.


The emergence and spread of hospital acquired multi drug resistant bacteria present a need for new antibiotics with innovative mode of action. Advances in molecular microbiology and genomics have led to the identification of numerous bacterial genes coding for proteins that could potentially serve as targets for antibacterial compounds. Histidine kinase promoted two-component systems are extremely common in bacteria and play an important role in essential signal transduction for adapting to bacterial stress. Since signal transduction in mammals occurs by a different mechanism, inhibition of histidine kinases could be a potential target for antimicrobial agents. This review will summarize our current knowledge of the structure and function of histidine kinase and the development of antibiotics with a new mode of action: targeting histidine kinase promoted signal transduction and its subsequent regulation of gene expression system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / drug effects
  • Drug Design
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Histidine Kinase
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors*
  • Protein Kinases*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinases
  • Histidine Kinase