A second target of the antimalarial and antibacterial agent fosmidomycin revealed by cellular metabolic profiling

Baichen Zhang, Kristin M. Watts, Dana Hodge, Lisa M. Kemp, David A. Hunstad, Leslie M. Hicks, Audrey R. Odom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Antimicrobial drug resistance is an urgent problem in the control and treatment of many of the world's most serious infections, including Plasmodium falciparum malaria, tuberculosis, and healthcare-associated infections with Gram-negative bacteria. Because the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis is essential in eubacteria and P. falciparum and this pathway is not present in humans, there is great interest in targeting the enzymes of non-mevalonate metabolism for antibacterial and antiparasitic drug development. Fosmidomycin is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent currently in clinical trials of combination therapies for the treatment of malaria. In vitro, fosmidomycin is known to inhibit the deoxyxylulose phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR) enzyme of isoprenoid biosynthesis from multiple pathogenic organisms. To define the in vivo metabolic response to fosmidomycin, we developed a novel mass spectrometry method to quantitate six metabolites of non-mevalonate isoprenoid metabolism from complex biological samples. Using this technique, we validate that the biological effects of fosmidomycin are mediated through blockade of de novo isoprenoid biosynthesis in both P. falciparum malaria parasites and Escherichia coli bacteria: in both organisms, metabolic profiling demonstrated a block of isoprenoid metabolism following fosmidomycin treatment, and growth inhibition due to fosmidomycin was rescued by media supplemented with isoprenoid metabolites. Isoprenoid metabolism proceeded through DXR even in the presence of fosmidomycin but was inhibited at the level of the downstream enzyme, methylerythritol phosphate cytidyltransferase (IspD). Overexpression of IspD in E. coli conferred fosmidomycin resistance, and fosmidomycin was found to inhibit IspD in vitro. This work has validated fosmidomycin as a biological reagent for blocking non-mevalonate isoprenoid metabolism and suggests a second in vivo target for fosmidomycin within isoprenoid biosynthesis, in two evolutionarily diverse pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3570-3577
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemistry
Volume50
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A second target of the antimalarial and antibacterial agent fosmidomycin revealed by cellular metabolic profiling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this