Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) exhibits remarkable metabolic flexibility that enables it to survive a plethora of host environments during its life cycle. With the advent of bedaquiline for treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, oxidative phosphorylation has been validated as an important target and a vulnerable component of mycobacterial metabolism. Exploiting the dependence of Mtb on oxidative phosphorylation for energy production, several components of this pathway have been targeted for the development of new antimycobacterial agents. This includes targeting NADH dehydrogenase by phenothiazine derivatives, menaquinone biosynthesis by DG70 and other compounds, terminal oxidase by imidazopyridine amides and ATP synthase by diarylquinolines. Importantly, oxidative phosphorylation also plays a critical role in the survival of persisters. Thus, inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation can synergize with frontline TB drugs to shorten the course of treatment. In this review, we discuss the oxidative phosphorylation pathway and development of its inhibitors in detail.
Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Q203; SQ109; antimycobacterials; bedaquiline; bioenergetics; drugs; electron transport chain; oxidative phosphorylation.