Structure and function of the Mur enzymes: development of novel inhibitors



One of the biggest challenges for recent medical research is the continuous development of new antibiotics interacting with bacterial essential mechanisms. The machinery for peptidoglycan biosynthesis is a rich source of crucial targets for antibacterial chemotherapy. The cytoplasmic steps of the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan precursor, catalysed by a series of Mur enzymes, are excellent candidates for drug development. There has been growing interest in these bacterial enzymes over the last decade. Many studies attempted to understand the detailed mechanisms and structural features of the key enzymes MurA to MurF. Only MurA is inhibited by a known antibiotic, fosfomycin. Several attempts made to develop novel inhibitors of this pathway are discussed in this review. Three novel inhibitors of MurA were identified recently. 4-Thiazolidinone compounds were designed as MurB inhibitors. Many phosphinic acid derivatives and substrate analogues were identified as inhibitors of the MurC to MurF amino acid ligases.