A simple steady-state kinetic high-throughput assay was developed for the salicylate synthase MbtI from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which catalyzes the first committed step of mycobactin biosynthesis. The mycobactins are small-molecule iron chelators produced by M. tuberculosis, and their biosynthesis has been identified as a promising target for the development of new antitubercular agents. The assay was miniaturized to a 384-well plate format and high-throughput screening was performed at the National Screening Laboratory for the Regional Centers of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (NSRB). Three classes of compounds were identified comprising the benzisothiazolones (class I), diarylsulfones (class II), and benzimidazole-2-thiones (class III). Each of these compound series was further pursued to investigate their biochemical mechanism and structure-activity relationships. Benzimidazole-2-thione 4 emerged as the most promising inhibitor owing to its potent reversible inhibition.
- High-throughput screening
- Salicylate synthase