Illustrated here is the development of a new class of antibiotic lead molecules targeted at Pseudomonas aeruginosa glutaredoxin (PaGRX). This lead was produced to (a) circumvent efflux-mediated resistance mechanisms via covalent inhibition while (b) taking advantage of species selectivity to target a fundamental metabolic pathway. This work involved four components: a novel workflow for generating protein specific fragment hits via independent nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements, NMR-based modeling of the target protein structure, NMR guided docking of hits, and synthetic modification of the fragment hit with a vinyl cysteine trap moiety, i.e., acrylamide warhead, to generate the chimeric lead. Reactivity of the top warhead-fragment lead suggests that the ortholog selectivity observed for a fragment hit can translate into a substantial kinetic advantage in the mature warhead lead, which bodes well for future work to identify potent, species specific drug molecules targeted against proteins heretofore deemed undruggable.
Keywords: FBDD; HSQC; STD; acrylamide warhead; covalent inhibition; docking; glutaredoxin; trNOE.