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Metabolite Concentration as a Criterion for Antibacterial Discovery

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The discovery and use of antibacterials represents a primary success of modern pharmaceutical industry. However, the pace of antibacterial discovery was heavily hindered by a series of technical difficulties and the unfavorable economics in recent years. The past decade has witnessed rapid progresses in omics and systems biology, which provided an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the discovery of antibacterials. In this article, we first summarize the successful use of metabolic network analysis in antibacterial discovery. Then, we reveal that metabolite concentration serves as a useful criterion for selecting antimicrobial targets. The essential enzymes with low substrate concentrations (< 0.5 mM) are more druggable antibacterial targets. Besides, we find that the solubility of clinically used competitive antibacterials is at least 100 times higher than the concentrations of the competed substrates. By the new-proposed criterion, we not only identify some promising antibacterial targets but also explain some perplexing experimental observations as well.
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Keywords: Antibacterial discovery; antibacterial target; bioinformatics; flux balance analysis (FBA); metabolic network; metabolite concentration; metabolomics; systems biology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • Current Computer-Aided Drug Design aims to publish all the latest developments in drug design based on computational techniques. The field of computer-aided drug design has had extensive impact in the area of drug design. Current Computer-Aided Drug Design is an essential journal for all medicinal chemists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest and important developments in computer-aided methodologies and their applications in drug discovery. Each issue contains a series of timely, in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field, covering a range of computational techniques for drug design, screening, ADME studies, etc., providing excellent rationales for drug development.
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