Interaction of nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin with wild type and mutated quinolone-resistance-determining region of DNA gyrase A

Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2009 Apr;46(2):147-53.


The quinolones exert their anti-bacterial activity by binding to DNA gyrase A (GyrA), an essential enzyme in maintenance of DNA topology within bacterial cell. The mutations conferring resistance to quinolones arise within the quinolone-resistance-determining region (QRDR) of GyrA. Therefore, quinolones interaction with wild and mutated GyrA can provide the molecular explanation for resistance. Resistant strains of Salmonella enterica of our hospital have shown mutations in the QRDR of GyrA of serine 83 (to phenylalanine or tyrosine) or aspartic acid 87 (to glycine or tyrosine). In order to understand the association between observed resistance and structural alterations of GyrA with respect to quinolone binding, we have studied the interaction of mutated QRDR of GyrA with nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin by molecular modeling using GLIDE v4. Analysis of interaction parameters like G-score has revealed reduced interaction between nalidixic acid/ciprofloxacin with QRDR of GyrA in all four mutated cases of resistant strains. The mutation of Ser83 to Phe or Tyr shows least binding for nalidixic acid, while Asp87 to Gly or Tyr exhibits minimal binding for ciprofloxacin. The study also highlights the important role of arginines at 21, 91 and His at 45, which form strong hydrogen bonds (at < 3 A) with quinolones. The hydrophilic OH group of Serine 83, which is in close proximity to the quinolone binding site is replaced by aromatic moieties of Tyr or Phe in mutated GyrA. This replacement leads to steric hindrance for quinolone binding. Therefore, quinolone resistance developed by Salmonella appears to be due to the decreased selectivity and affinity of nalidixic acid/ciprofloxacin to QRDR of GyrA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Ciprofloxacin / chemistry
  • Ciprofloxacin / metabolism*
  • DNA Gyrase / chemistry
  • DNA Gyrase / genetics*
  • DNA Gyrase / metabolism*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutant Proteins / chemistry
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Nalidixic Acid / chemistry
  • Nalidixic Acid / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding


  • Mutant Proteins
  • Nalidixic Acid
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • DNA Gyrase