Acyl acceptor recognition by Enterococcus faecium l,d‐transpeptidase Ldtfm
In M ycobacterium tuberculosis and ampicillin‐resistant mutants of E nterococcus faecium, the classical target of β‐lactam antibiotics is bypassed by l,d‐transpeptidases that form unusual 3 → 3 peptidoglycan cross‐links. β‐lactams of the carbapenem class, such as ertapenem, are mimics of the acyl donor substrate and inactivate l,d‐transpeptidases by acylation of their catalytic cysteine. We have blocked the acyl donor site of E. faecium l,d‐transpeptidase Ldtfm by ertapenem and identified the acyl acceptor site based on analyses of chemical shift perturbations induced by binding of peptidoglycan fragments to the resulting acylenzyme. An nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)‐driven docking structure of the complex revealed key hydrogen interactions between the acyl acceptor and Ldtfm that were evaluated by site‐directed mutagenesis and development of a cross‐linking assay. Three residues are reported as critical for stabilisation of the acceptor in the Ldtfm active site and proper orientation of the nucleophilic nitrogen for the attack of the acylenzyme carbonyl. Identification of the catalytic pocket dedicated to the acceptor substrate opens new perspectives for the design of inhibitors with an original mode of action that could act alone or in synergy with β‐lactams.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2015