The Francis Crick Institute
craven-et-al-2024-computational-design-of-cyclic-peptide-inhibitors-of-a-bacterial-membrane-lipoprotein-peptidase (2).pdf (3.64 MB)

Computational design of cyclic peptide inhibitors of a bacterial membrane lipoprotein peptidase.

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-23, 09:54 authored by Timothy W Craven, Mark D Nolan, Jonathan Bailey, Samir Olatunji, Samantha J Bann, Katherine Bowen, Nikita Ostrovitsa, Thaina M Da Costa, Ross D Ballantine, Dietmar Weichert, Paul M Levine, Lance J Stewart, Gaurav Bhardwaj, Joan A Geoghegan, Stephen A Cochrane, Eoin M Scanlan, Martin Caffrey, David Baker
There remains a critical need for new antibiotics against multi-drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, a major global threat that continues to impact mortality rates. Lipoprotein signal peptidase II is an essential enzyme in the lipoprotein biosynthetic pathway of Gram-negative bacteria, making it an attractive target for antibacterial drug discovery. Although natural inhibitors of LspA have been identified, such as the cyclic depsipeptide globomycin, poor stability and production difficulties limit their use in a clinical setting. We harness computational design to generate stable de novo cyclic peptide analogues of globomycin. Only 12 peptides needed to be synthesized and tested to yield potent inhibitors, avoiding costly preparation of large libraries and screening campaigns. The most potent analogues showed comparable or better antimicrobial activity than globomycin in microdilution assays against ESKAPE-E pathogens. This work highlights computational design as a general strategy to combat antibiotic resistance.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2215, Grant title: Hess CC2215)