3-Deoxy-d-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate (DAH7P) synthase catalyses the first step of the shikimate pathway for the biosynthesis of aromatic compounds. Enzymes of this pathway have been identified as potential targets for drug design. The reaction catalysed by DAH7P synthase is an aldol condensation between phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and d-erythrose 4-phosphate (E4P). In this study inhibitors of DAH7P synthase were prepared which were designed to fit into the binding sites of both PEP and E4P substrates simultaneously. Inhibitors, known to target the PEP binding site, were extended using a C4 linker to include an appropriately placed phosphate group in order to access the phosphate-binding site of E4P. A small increase in inhibition was observed with this modification, and the inhibition results have been rationalised by induced-fit docking.
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