The ever-growing number of pathogenic bacteria resistant to treatment with antibiotics call for the development of novel compounds with as-yet unexplored modes of action. Here, we demonstrate the in vivo antibacterial activity of carba-α-d-glucosamine (CGlcN). In this mode of action study, we provide evidence that CGlcN-mediated growth inhibition is due to glmS ribozyme activation, and we demonstrate that CGlcN hijacks an endogenous activation pathway, hence utilizing a prodrug mechanism. This is the first report describing antibacterial activity mediated by activating the self-cleaving properties of a ribozyme. Our results open the path towards a compound class with an entirely novel and distinct molecular mechanism.
Keywords: RNA; antibiotics; hydrolysis; ribozymes.
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.