DXR inhibition by potent mono- and disubstituted fosmidomycin analogues

J Med Chem. 2013 Aug 8;56(15):6190-9. doi: 10.1021/jm4006498. Epub 2013 Jul 17.


The antimalarial compound fosmidomycin targets DXR, the enzyme that catalyzes the first committed step in the MEP pathway, producing the essential isoprenoid precursors, isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. The MEP pathway is used by a number of pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and apicomplexan parasites, and differs from the classical mevalonate pathway that is essential in humans. Using a structure-based approach, we designed a number of analogues of fosmidomycin, including a series that are substituted in both the Cα and the hydroxamate positions. The latter proved to be a stable framework for the design of inhibitors that extend from the polar and cramped (and so not easily druggable) substrate-binding site and can, for the first time, bridge the substrate and cofactor binding sites. A number of these compounds are more potent than fosmidomycin in terms of killing Plasmodium falciparum in an in vitro assay; the best has an IC50 of 40 nM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aldose-Ketose Isomerases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Aldose-Ketose Isomerases / chemistry
  • Antimalarials / chemical synthesis*
  • Antimalarials / chemistry
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Fosfomycin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Fosfomycin / chemical synthesis
  • Fosfomycin / chemistry
  • Fosfomycin / pharmacology
  • Hydroxamic Acids / chemical synthesis
  • Hydroxamic Acids / chemistry
  • Hydroxamic Acids / pharmacology
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / enzymology
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects
  • Plasmodium falciparum / enzymology
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antimalarials
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • Fosfomycin
  • fosmidomycin
  • 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase
  • Aldose-Ketose Isomerases

Associated data

  • PDB/3ZHX
  • PDB/3ZHY
  • PDB/3ZHZ
  • PDB/3ZI0