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1.  DNA gyrase: affinity chromatography on novobiocin-Sepharose and catalytic properties. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1981;9(15):3589-3603.
Novobiocin-Sepharose was prepared by coupling of novobiocin to Epoxy-activated Sepharose 6B and used as an affinity adsorbent. Four novobiocin-binding proteins were isolated from crude extracts of Escherichia coli with molecular weights of 105, 92, 85 and 40 kdal. The two larger proteins were identified as the A subunit (gyrA protein) and the B subunit (gyrB protein) of DNA gyrase topoisomerase II). By this method the two gyrase components can be easily separated and purified in high yield. Although both proteins are involved in the ATP-dependent supercoiling of relaxed plasmid DNA, only the gyrB protein is required for catalyzing the cleavage of ATP. The gyrB protein ATPase activity is competitively inhibited by novobiocin and related coumarin antibiotics. ATP hydrolysis is unaffected by the addition of either gyrA protein or DNA but stimulated in the presence of both.
PMCID: PMC327377  PMID: 6269086
2.  Interaction of the Plasmid-Encoded Quinolone Resistance Protein Qnr with Escherichia coli DNA Gyrase 
Quinolone resistance normally arises by mutations in the chromosomal genes for type II topoisomerases and by changes in the expression of proteins that control the accumulation of quinolones inside bacteria. A novel mechanism of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance was recently reported that involves DNA gyrase protection by a pentapeptide repeat family member called Qnr. This family includes two other members, McbG and MfpA, that are also involved in resistance to gyrase inhibitors. Purified Qnr-His6 was shown to protect Escherichia coli DNA gyrase directly from inhibition by ciprofloxacin. Here we have provided a biochemical basis for the mechanism of quinolone resistance. We have shown that Qnr can bind to the gyrase holoenzyme and its respective subunits, GyrA and GyrB. The binding of Qnr to gyrase does not require the presence of the complex of enzyme, DNA, and quinolone, since binding occurred in the absence of relaxed DNA, ciprofloxacin, or ATP. We hypothesize that the formation of Qnr-gyrase complex occurs before the formation of the cleavage complex. Furthermore, there was a decrease in DNA binding by gyrase when the enzyme interacted with Qnr. Therefore, it is possible that the reaction intermediate recognized by Qnr is one early in the gyrase catalytic cycle, in which gyrase has just begun to interact with DNA. Quinolones bind later in the catalytic cycle and stabilize a ternary complex consisting of the drug, gyrase, and DNA. By lowering gyrase binding to DNA, Qnr may reduce the amount of holoenzyme-DNA targets for quinolone inhibition.
PMCID: PMC538914  PMID: 15616284
3.  Evaluation of gyrase B as a drug target in Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
New classes of drugs are needed to treat tuberculosis (TB) in order to combat the emergence of resistance to existing agents and shorten the duration of therapy. Targeting DNA gyrase is a clinically validated therapeutic approach using fluoroquinolone antibiotics to target the gyrase subunit A (GyrA) of the heterotetramer. Increasing resistance to fluoroquinolones has driven interest in targeting the gyrase subunit B (GyrB), which has not been targeted for TB. The biological activities of two potent small-molecule inhibitors of GyrB have been characterized to validate its targeting as a therapeutic strategy for treating TB.
Materials and methods
Novobiocin and aminobenzimidazole 1 (AB-1) were tested for their activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) H37Rv and other mycobacteria. AB-1 and novobiocin were also evaluated for their interaction with rifampicin and isoniazid as well as their potential for cytotoxicity. Finally, AB-1 was tested for in vivo efficacy in a murine model of TB.
Novobiocin and AB-1 have both been shown to be active against Mtb with MIC values of 4 and 1 mg/L, respectively. Only AB-1 exhibited time-dependent bactericidal activity against drug-susceptible and drug-resistant mycobacteria, including a fluoroquinolone-resistant strain. AB-1 had potent activity in the low oxygen recovery assay model for non-replicating persistent Mtb. Additionally, AB-1 has no interaction with isoniazid and rifampicin, and has no cross-resistance with fluoroquinolones. In a murine model of TB, AB-1 significantly reduced lung cfu counts in a dose-dependent manner.
Aminobenzimidazole inhibitors of GyrB exhibit many of the characteristics required for their consideration as a potential front-line antimycobacterial therapeutic.
PMCID: PMC3254195  PMID: 22052686
non-replicating bacteria; topoisomerase; benzimidazole; drug resistance; ciprofloxacin; novobiocin; non-tuberculous mycobacteria
4.  Impact of the E540V Amino Acid Substitution in GyrB of Mycobacterium tuberculosis on Quinolone Resistance▿† 
Amino acid substitutions conferring resistance to quinolones in Mycobacterium tuberculosis have generally been found within the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) in the A subunit of DNA gyrase (GyrA) rather than the B subunit of DNA gyrase (GyrB). To clarify the contribution of an amino acid substitution, E540V, in GyrB to quinolone resistance in M. tuberculosis, we expressed recombinant DNA gyrases in Escherichia coli and characterized them in vitro. Wild-type and GyrB-E540V DNA gyrases were reconstituted in vitro by mixing recombinant GyrA and GyrB. Correlation between the amino acid substitution and quinolone resistance was assessed by the ATP-dependent DNA supercoiling assay, quinolone-inhibited supercoiling assay, and DNA cleavage assay. The 50% inhibitory concentrations of eight quinolones against DNA gyrases bearing the E540V amino acid substitution in GyrB were 2.5- to 36-fold higher than those against the wild-type enzyme. Similarly, the 25% maximum DNA cleavage concentrations were 1.5- to 14-fold higher for the E540V gyrase than for the wild-type enzyme. We further demonstrated that the E540V amino acid substitution influenced the interaction between DNA gyrase and the substituent(s) at R-7, R-8, or both in quinolone structures. This is the first detailed study of the contribution of the E540V amino acid substitution in GyrB to quinolone resistance in M. tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC3147658  PMID: 21646485
5.  Optimization of Pyrrolamides as Mycobacterial GyrB ATPase Inhibitors: Structure-Activity Relationship and In Vivo Efficacy in a Mouse Model of Tuberculosis 
Moxifloxacin has shown excellent activity against drug-sensitive as well as drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), thus confirming DNA gyrase as a clinically validated target for discovering novel anti-TB agents. We have identified novel inhibitors in the pyrrolamide class which kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis through inhibition of ATPase activity catalyzed by the GyrB domain of DNA gyrase. A homology model of the M. tuberculosis H37Rv GyrB domain was used for deciphering the structure-activity relationship and binding interactions of inhibitors with mycobacterial GyrB enzyme. Proposed binding interactions were later confirmed through cocrystal structure studies with the Mycobacterium smegmatis GyrB ATPase domain. The most potent compound in this series inhibited supercoiling activity of DNA gyrase with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of <5 nM, an MIC of 0.03 μg/ml against M. tuberculosis H37Rv, and an MIC90 of <0.25 μg/ml against 99 drug-resistant clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis. The frequency of isolating spontaneous resistant mutants was ∼10−6 to 10−8, and the point mutation mapped to the M. tuberculosis GyrB domain (Ser208 Ala), thus confirming its mode of action. The best compound tested for in vivo efficacy in the mouse model showed a 1.1-log reduction in lung CFU in the acute model and a 0.7-log reduction in the chronic model. This class of GyrB inhibitors could be developed as novel anti-TB agents.
PMCID: PMC3910769  PMID: 24126580
6.  A strand-passage conformation of DNA gyrase is required to allow the bacterial toxin, CcdB, to access its binding site 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;34(17):4667-4676.
DNA gyrase is the only topoisomerase able to introduce negative supercoils into DNA. Absent in humans, gyrase is a successful target for antibacterial drugs. However, increasing drug resistance is a serious problem and new agents are urgently needed. The naturally-produced Escherichia coli toxin CcdB has been shown to target gyrase by what is predicted to be a novel mechanism. CcdB has been previously shown to stabilize the gyrase ‘cleavage complex’, but it has not been shown to inhibit the catalytic reactions of gyrase. We present data showing that CcdB does indeed inhibit the catalytic reactions of gyrase by stabilization of the cleavage complex and that the GyrA C-terminal DNA-wrapping domain and the GyrB N-terminal ATPase domain are dispensable for CcdB's action. We further investigate the role of specific GyrA residues in the action of CcdB by site-directed mutagenesis; these data corroborate a model for CcdB action based on a recent crystal structure of a CcdB–GyrA fragment complex. From this work, we are now able to present a model for CcdB action that explains all previous observations relating to CcdB–gyrase interaction. CcdB action requires a conformation of gyrase that is only revealed when DNA strand passage is taking place.
PMCID: PMC1635281  PMID: 16963775
7.  Identification of the likely translational start of Mycobacterium tuberculosis GyrB 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:274.
Bacterial DNA gyrase is a validated target for antibacterial chemotherapy. It consists of two subunits, GyrA and GyrB, which form an A2B2 complex in the active enzyme. Sequence alignment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis GyrB with other bacterial GyrBs predicts the presence of 40 potential additional amino acids at the GyrB N-terminus. There are discrepancies between the M. tuberculosis GyrB sequences retrieved from different databases, including sequences annotated with or without the additional 40 amino acids. This has resulted in differences in the GyrB sequence numbering that has led to the reporting of previously known fluoroquinolone-resistance mutations as novel mutations.
We have expressed M. tuberculosis GyrB with and without the extra 40 amino acids in Escherichia coli and shown that both can be produced as soluble, active proteins. Supercoiling and other assays of the two proteins show no differences, suggesting that the additional 40 amino acids have no effect on the enzyme in vitro. RT-PCR analysis of M. tuberculosis mRNA shows that transcripts that could yield both the longer and shorter protein are present. However, promoter analysis showed that only the promoter elements leading to the shorter GyrB (lacking the additional 40 amino acids) had significant activity.
We conclude that the most probable translational start codon for M. tuberculosis GyrB is GTG (Val) which results in translation of a protein of 674 amino acids (74 kDa).
PMCID: PMC3724585  PMID: 23856181
Gyrase; Topoisomerase; Mycobacterium tuberculosis
8.  Biological Evaluation of Benzothiazole Ethyl Urea Inhibitors of Bacterial Type II Topoisomerases 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2013;57(12):5977-5986.
The type II topoisomerases DNA gyrase (GyrA/GyrB) and topoisomerase IV (ParC/ParE) are well-validated targets for antibacterial drug discovery. Because of their structural and functional homology, these enzymes are amenable to dual targeting by a single ligand. In this study, two novel benzothiazole ethyl urea-based small molecules, designated compound A and compound B, were evaluated for their biochemical, antibacterial, and pharmacokinetic properties. The two compounds inhibited the ATPase activity of GyrB and ParE with 50% inhibitory concentrations of <0.1 μg/ml. Prevention of DNA supercoiling by DNA gyrase was also observed. Both compounds potently inhibited the growth of a range of bacterial organisms, including staphylococci, streptococci, enterococci, Clostridium difficile, and selected Gram-negative respiratory pathogens. MIC90s against clinical isolates ranged from 0.015 μg/ml for Streptococcus pneumoniae to 0.25 μg/ml for Staphylococcus aureus. No cross-resistance with common drug resistance phenotypes was observed. In addition, no synergistic or antagonistic interactions between compound A or compound B and other antibiotics, including the topoisomerase inhibitors novobiocin and levofloxacin, were detected in checkerboard experiments. The frequencies of spontaneous resistance for S. aureus were <2.3 × 10−10 with compound A and <5.8 × 10−11 with compound B at concentrations equivalent to 8× the MICs. These values indicate a multitargeting mechanism of action. The pharmacokinetic properties of both compounds were profiled in rats. Following intravenous administration, compound B showed approximately 3-fold improvement over compound A in terms of both clearance and the area under the concentration-time curve. The measured oral bioavailability of compound B was 47.7%.
PMCID: PMC3837865  PMID: 24041906
9.  A monoclonal antibody that inhibits mycobacterial DNA gyrase by a novel mechanism 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(10):3085-3094.
DNA gyrase is a DNA topoisomerase indispensable for cellular functions in bacteria. We describe a novel, hitherto unknown, mechanism of specific inhibition of Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA gyrase by a monoclonal antibody (mAb). Binding of the mAb did not affect either GyrA–GyrB or gyrase–DNA interactions. More importantly, the ternary complex of gyrase–DNA–mAb retained the ATPase activity of the enzyme and was competent to catalyse DNA cleavage–religation reactions, implying a new mode of action different from other classes of gyrase inhibitors. DNA gyrase purified from fluoroquinolone-resistant strains of M.tuberculosis and M.smegmatis were inhibited by the mAb. The absence of cross-resistance of the drug-resistant enzymes from two different sources to the antibody-mediated inhibition corroborates the new mechanism of inhibition. We suggest that binding of the mAb in the proximity of the primary dimer interface region of GyrA in the heterotetrameric enzyme appears to block the release of the transported segment after strand passage, leading to enzyme inhibition. The specific inhibition of mycobacterial DNA gyrase with the mAb opens up new avenues for designing novel lead molecules for drug discovery and for probing gyrase mechanism.
PMCID: PMC1142348  PMID: 15930158
10.  Mutation at the “Exit Gate” of the Salmonella Gyrase A Subunit Suppresses a Defect in the Gyrase B Subunit 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(19):6841-6844.
In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, an S431P substitution in the B subunit of gyrase (allele gyrB651) confers resistance to nalidixic acid and causes reduced DNA superhelicity and hypersensitivity to novobiocin. Selection for novobiocin resistance allowed isolation of a mutation in the gyrA gene (allele gyrA659), a T467S substitution, which partially suppresses the supercoiling defect of gyrB651. Modeling analysis suggests that this mutation acts by destabilizing the GyrA bottom dimer interface. This is the first example of a gyrA mutation that compensates for a gyrB defect.
PMCID: PMC1251596  PMID: 16166547
11.  Mechanism of action of quinolones against Escherichia coli DNA gyrase. 
The mechanism of action of quinolones was investigated by use of various DNA gyrases reconstituted from wild-type and mutant GyrA and GyrB proteins of Escherichia coli. The quinolone sensitivities of the DNA supercoiling activity of the gyrases were generally parallel to the quinolone susceptibilities of strains having the corresponding enzymes and depended on gyrase subunits but not on substrate DNA. [3H]Enoxacin did not bind to gyrase alone or DNA alone but bound to gyrase-DNA complexes when measured by a gel filtration method. There appeared to be two enoxacin binding phases, at low and high enoxacin concentrations, for the wild-type gyrase-DNA and type 2 GyrB (Lys-447 to Glu) mutant gyrase-DNA complexes but only one enoxacin binding phase at the concentrations used for the GyrA (Ser-83 to Leu) mutant gyrase-DNA and type 1 GyrB (Asp-426 to Asn) mutant gyrase-DNA complexes. New enoxacin binding sites appeared in the presence of enoxacin, and the enoxacin binding affinities for the sites, especially at low enoxacin concentrations, near the MICs for the strains having the corresponding gyrases, correlated well with the enoxacin sensitivities of the gyrases and the MICs. From the results obtained, we propose a quinolone pocket model as the mechanism of action of quinolones, in which quinolones exert their action through binding to a gyrase-DNA complex and the quinolone binding affinities for the complex are determined by both GyrA and GyrB subunits in concert.
PMCID: PMC187778  PMID: 8388200
12.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA Gyrase: Interaction with Quinolones and Correlation with Antimycobacterial Drug Activity 
Genome studies suggest that DNA gyrase is the sole type II topoisomerase and likely the unique target of quinolones in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Despite the emerging importance of quinolones in the treatment of mycobacterial disease, the slow growth and high pathogenicity of M. tuberculosis have precluded direct purification of its gyrase and detailed analysis of quinolone action. To address these issues, we separately overexpressed the M. tuberculosis DNA gyrase GyrA and GyrB subunits as His-tagged proteins in Escherichia coli from pET plasmids carrying gyrA and gyrB genes. The soluble 97-kDa GyrA and 72-kDa GyrB subunits were purified by nickel chelate chromatography and shown to reconstitute an ATP-dependent DNA supercoiling activity. The drug concentration that inhibited DNA supercoiling by 50% (IC50) was measured for 22 different quinolones, and values ranged from 2 to 3 μg/ml (sparfloxacin, sitafloxacin, clinafloxacin, and gatifloxacin) to >1,000 μg/ml (pipemidic acid and nalidixic acid). By comparison, MICs measured against M. tuberculosis ranged from 0.12 μg/ml (for gatifloxacin) to 128 μg/ml (both pipemidic acid and nalidixic acid) and correlated well with the gyrase IC50s (R2 = 0.9). Quinolones promoted gyrase-mediated cleavage of plasmid pBR322 DNA due to stabilization of the cleavage complex, which is thought to be the lethal lesion. Surprisingly, the measured concentrations of drug inducing 50% plasmid linearization correlated less well with the MICs (R2 = 0.7). These findings suggest that the DNA supercoiling inhibition assay may be a useful screening test in identifying quinolones with promising activity against M. tuberculosis. The quinolone structure-activity relationship demonstrated here shows that C-8, the C-7 ring, the C-6 fluorine, and the N-1 cyclopropyl substituents are desirable structural features in targeting M. tuberculosis gyrase.
PMCID: PMC375300  PMID: 15047530
13.  Active-Site Residues of Escherichia coli DNA Gyrase Required in Coupling ATP Hydrolysis to DNA Supercoiling and Amino Acid Substitutions Leading to Novobiocin Resistance 
DNA gyrase is a bacterial type II topoisomerase which couples the free energy of ATP hydrolysis to the introduction of negative supercoils into DNA. Amino acids in proximity to bound nonhydrolyzable ATP analog (AMP · PNP) or novobiocin in the gyrase B (GyrB) subunit crystal structures were examined for their roles in enzyme function and novobiocin resistance by site-directed mutagenesis. Purified Escherichia coli GyrB mutant proteins were complexed with the gyrase A subunit to form the functional A2B2 gyrase enzyme. Mutant proteins with alanine substitutions at residues E42, N46, E50, D73, R76, G77, and I78 had reduced or no detectable ATPase activity, indicating a role for these residues in ATP hydrolysis. Interestingly, GyrB proteins with P79A and K103A substitutions retained significant levels of ATPase activity yet demonstrated no DNA supercoiling activity, even with 40-fold more enzyme than the wild-type enzyme, suggesting that these amino acid side chains have a role in the coupling of the two activities. All enzymes relaxed supercoiled DNA to the same extent as the wild-type enzyme did, implying that only ATP-dependent reactions were affected. Mutant genes were examined in vivo for their abilities to complement a temperature-sensitive E. coli gyrB mutant, and the activities correlated well with the in vitro activities. We show that the known R136 novobiocin resistance mutations bestow a significant loss of inhibitor potency in the ATPase assay. Four new residues (D73, G77, I78, and T165) that, when changed to the appropriate amino acid, result in both significant levels of novobiocin resistance and maintain in vivo function were identified in E. coli.
PMCID: PMC149296  PMID: 12604539
14.  Mapping Simocyclinone D8 Interaction with DNA Gyrase: Evidence for a New Binding Site on GyrB▿ † 
Simocyclinone D8, a coumarin derivative isolated from Streptomyces antibioticus Tü 6040, represents an interesting new antiproliferative agent. It was originally suggested that this drug recognizes the GyrA subunit and interferes with the gyrase catalytic cycle by preventing its binding to DNA. To further characterize the mode of action of this antibiotic, we investigated its binding to the reconstituted DNA gyrase (A2B2) as well as to its GyrA and GyrB subunits and the individual domains of these proteins, by performing protein melting and proteolytic digestion studies as well as inhibition assays. Two binding sites were identified, one (anticipated) in the N-terminal domain of GyrA (GyrA59) and the other (unexpected) at the C-terminal domain of GyrB (GyrB47). Stabilization of the A subunit appears to be considerably more effective than stabilization of the B subunit. Our data suggest that these two distinct sites could cooperate in the reconstituted enzyme.
PMCID: PMC2798491  PMID: 19858260
15.  A domain insertion in Escherichia coli GyrB adopts a novel fold that plays a critical role in gyrase function 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(21):7830-7844.
DNA topoisomerases manage chromosome supercoiling and organization in all forms of life. Gyrase, a prokaryotic heterotetrameric type IIA topo, introduces negative supercoils into DNA by an ATP-dependent strand passage mechanism. All gyrase orthologs rely on a homologous set of catalytic domains for function; however, these enzymes also can possess species-specific auxiliary regions. The gyrases of many gram-negative bacteria harbor a 170-amino acid insertion of unknown architecture and function in the metal- and DNA-binding TOPRIM domain of the GyrB subunit. We have determined the structure of the 212 kDa Escherichia coli gyrase DNA binding and cleavage core containing this insert to 3.1 Å resolution. We find that the insert adopts a novel, extended fold that braces the GyrB TOPRIM domain against the coiled-coil arms of its partner GyrA subunit. Structure-guided deletion of the insert greatly reduces the DNA binding, supercoiling and DNA-stimulated ATPase activities of gyrase. Mutation of a single amino acid at the contact point between the insert and GyrA more modestly impairs supercoiling and ATP turnover, and does not affect DNA binding. Our data indicate that the insert has two functions, acting as a steric buttress to pre-configure the primary DNA-binding site, and serving as a relay that may help coordinate communication between different functional domains.
PMCID: PMC2995079  PMID: 20675723
16.  Simocyclinone D8, an Inhibitor of DNA Gyrase with a Novel Mode of Action 
We have characterized the interaction of a new class of antibiotics, simocyclinones, with bacterial DNA gyrase. Even though their structures include an aminocoumarin moiety, a key feature of novobiocin, coumermycin A1, and clorobiocin, which also target gyrase, simocyclinones behave strikingly differently from these compounds. Simocyclinone D8 is a potent inhibitor of gyrase supercoiling, with a 50% inhibitory concentration lower than that of novobiocin. However, it does not competitively inhibit the DNA-independent ATPase reaction of GyrB, which is characteristic of other aminocoumarins. Simocyclinone D8 also inhibits DNA relaxation by gyrase but does not stimulate cleavage complex formation, unlike quinolones, the other major class of gyrase inhibitors; instead, it abrogates both Ca2+- and quinolone-induced cleavage complex formation. Binding studies suggest that simocyclinone D8 interacts with the N-terminal domain of GyrA. Taken together, our results demonstrate that simocyclinones inhibit an early step of the gyrase catalytic cycle by preventing binding of the enzyme to DNA. This is a novel mechanism for a gyrase inhibitor and presents new possibilities for antibacterial drug development.
PMCID: PMC549283  PMID: 15728908
17.  Nucleotide sequence of the Staphylococcus aureus gyrB-gyrA locus encoding the DNA gyrase A and B proteins. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(5):1596-1603.
We have determined the nucleotide sequence of a 5.3-kb segment of the Staphylococcus aureus chromosome that includes the gyrA and gyrB genes coding for both subunits of DNA gyrase, the enzyme that catalyzes ATP-dependent DNA supercoiling. The gene order at this locus, dnaA-dnaN-recF-gyrB-gyrA, is similar to that found in the Bacillus subtilis replication origin region. S. aureus recF, gyrB, and gyrA genes are closely spaced, occupy the same reading frame, and may be coordinately expressed. The S. aureus gyrB and gyrA genes encode 640- and 889-residue proteins, respectively, that share strong homology with other bacterial gyrase subunits, notably those from B. subtilis. These results are discussed in regard to the mechanism of DNA gyrase and its role as a target for the 4-quinolones and other antistaphylococcal agents.
PMCID: PMC206555  PMID: 1311298
18.  Streptococcus pneumoniae DNA Gyrase and Topoisomerase IV: Overexpression, Purification, and Differential Inhibition by Fluoroquinolones 
Streptococcus pneumoniae gyrA and gyrB genes specifying the DNA gyrase subunits have been cloned into pET plasmid vectors under the control of an inducible T7 promoter and have been separately expressed in Escherichia coli. Soluble 97-kDa GyrA and 72-kDa GyrB proteins bearing polyhistidine tags at their respective C-terminal and N-terminal ends were purified to apparent homogeneity by one-step nickel chelate column chromatography and were free of host E. coli topoisomerase activity. Equimolar amounts of the gyrase subunits reconstituted ATP-dependent DNA supercoiling with comparable activity to gyrase of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In parallel, S. pneumoniae topoisomerase IV ParC and ParE subunits were similarly expressed in E. coli, purified to near homogeneity as 93- and 73-kDa proteins, and shown to generate efficient ATP-dependent DNA relaxation and DNA decatenation activities. Using the purified enzymes, we examined the inhibitory effects of three paradigm fluoroquinolones—ciprofloxacin, sparfloxacin, and clinafloxacin—which previous genetic studies with S. pneumoniae suggested act preferentially through topoisomerase IV, through gyrase, and through both enzymes, respectively. Surprisingly, all three quinolones were more active in inhibiting purified topoisomerase IV than gyrase, with clinafloxacin showing the greatest inhibitory potency. Moreover, the tested agents were at least 25-fold more effective in stabilizing a cleavable complex (the relevant cytotoxic lesion) with topoisomerase IV than with gyrase, with clinafloxacin some 10- to 32-fold more potent against either enzyme, in line with its superior activity against S. pneumoniae. The uniform target preference of the three fluoroquinolones for topoisomerase IV in vitro is in apparent contrast to the genetic data. We interpret these results in terms of a model for bacterial killing by quinolones in which cellular factors can modulate the effects of target affinity to determine the cytotoxic pathway.
PMCID: PMC89122  PMID: 10223925
19.  Accumulation of Mutations in both gyrB and parE Genes Is Associated with High-Level Resistance to Novobiocin in Staphylococcus aureus 
Coumarin-resistant mutants of Staphylococcus aureus were isolated by three-step selection with novobiocin at different concentrations. Sequencing analysis of the gyrB and parE genes of the first-, second-, and third-step mutants revealed that successive point mutations first occurred specifically in the gyrB gene, followed by a point mutation in the parE gene and then an additional point mutation in the gyrB gene. These findings demonstrate that DNA gyrase is the primary target and that topoisomerase IV is the secondary target for novobiocin and that the accumulation of point mutations in both the gyrB and the parE genes is associated with high-level resistance to novobiocin in S. aureus. Moreover, our results show that the amino acid substitutions (Asp-89 to Gly and Ser-128 to Leu) found in GyrB are associated with resistance to novobiocin but not to coumermycin A1, suggesting that the interactions of novobiocin and coumermycin A1 with GyrB differ at the molecular level.
PMCID: PMC1195401  PMID: 16127057
20.  Involvement of host DNA gyrase in growth of bacteriophage T5. 
Journal of Virology  1986;57(3):875-882.
Bacteriophage T5 did not grow at the nonpermissive temperature of 42 degrees C in Escherichia coli carrying a temperature-sensitive mutation in gyrB [gyrB(Ts)], but it did grow in gyrA(Ts) mutants at 42 degrees C. These findings indicate that the A subunit of host DNA gyrase is unnecessary, whereas the B subunit is necessary for growth of T5. The necessity for the B subunit was confirmed by a strong inhibition of T5 growth by novobiocin and coumermycin A1, which interfere specifically with the function of the B subunit of host DNA gyrase. However, T5 growth was also strongly inhibited by nalidixic acid, which interferes specifically with the function of the A subunit. This inhibition was due to the interaction of nalidixic acid with the A subunit and not just to its binding to DNA, because appropriate mutations in the gyrA gene of the host conferred nalidixic acid resistance to the host and resistance to T5 growth in such a host. The inhibition by nalidixic acid was also not due to a cell poison formed between nalidixic acid and the A subunit (K. N. Kreuzer and N. R. Cozzarelli, J. Bacteriol. 140:424-435, 1979) because nalidixic acid inhibited growth of T5 in a gyrA(Ts) mutant (KNK453) at 42 degrees C. We suggest that T5 grows in KNK453 at 42 degrees C because its gyrA(Ts) mutation is leaky for T5. Inhibition of T5 growth due to inactivation of host DNA gyrase was caused mainly by inhibition of T5 DNA replication. In addition, however, late T5 genes were barely expressed when host DNA gyrase was inactivated.
PMCID: PMC252817  PMID: 2419589
21.  Dual Targeting of GyrB and ParE by a Novel Aminobenzimidazole Class of Antibacterial Compounds▿  
A structure-guided drug design approach was used to optimize a novel series of aminobenzimidazoles that inhibit the essential ATPase activities of bacterial DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV and that show potent activities against a variety of bacterial pathogens. Two such compounds, VRT-125853 and VRT-752586, were characterized for their target specificities and preferences in bacteria. In metabolite incorporation assays, VRT-125853 inhibited both DNA and RNA synthesis but had little effect on protein synthesis. Both compounds inhibited the maintenance of negative supercoils in plasmid DNA in Escherichia coli at the MIC. Sequencing of DNA corresponding to the GyrB and ParE ATP-binding regions in VRT-125853- and VRT-752586-resistant mutants revealed that their primary target in Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae was GyrB, whereas in Streptococcus pneumoniae it was ParE. In Enterococcus faecalis, the primary target of VRT-125853 was ParE, whereas for VRT-752586 it was GyrB. DNA transformation experiments with H. influenzae and S. aureus proved that the mutations observed in gyrB resulted in decreased susceptibilities to both compounds. Novobiocin resistance-conferring mutations in S. aureus, H. influenzae, and S. pneumoniae were found in gyrB, and these mutants showed little or no cross-resistance to VRT-125853 or VRT-752586 and vice versa. Furthermore, gyrB and parE double mutations increased the MICs of VRT-125853 and VRT-752586 significantly, providing evidence of dual targeting. Spontaneous frequencies of resistance to VRT-752586 were below detectable levels (<5.2 × 10−10) for wild-type E. faecalis but were significantly elevated for strains containing single and double target-based mutations, demonstrating that dual targeting confers low levels of resistance emergence and the maintenance of susceptibility in vitro.
PMCID: PMC1797739  PMID: 17116675
22.  Quinolone-Binding Pocket of DNA Gyrase: Role of GyrB 
DNA gyrase is a prokaryotic type II topoisomerase and a major target of quinolone antibacterials. The majority of mutations conferring resistance to quinolones arise within the quinolone resistance-determining region of GyrA close to the active site (Tyr122) where DNA is bound and cleaved. However, some quinolone resistance mutations are known to exist in GyrB. Present structural data suggest that these residues lie a considerable distance from the quinolone resistance-determining region, and it is not obvious how they affect quinolone action. We have made and purified two such mutant proteins, GyrB(Asp426→Asn) and GyrB(Lys447→Glu), and characterized them in vitro. We found that the two proteins behave similarly to GyrA quinolone-resistant proteins. We showed that the mutations exert their effect by decreasing the amount of quinolone bound to a gyrase-DNA complex. We suggest that the GyrB residues form part of a quinolone-binding pocket that includes DNA and the quinolone resistance-determining region in GyrA and that large conformational changes during the catalytic cycle of the enzyme allow these regions to come into close proximity.
PMCID: PMC127264  PMID: 12019094
23.  Molecular Cloning of Apicoplast-Targeted Plasmodium falciparum DNA Gyrase Genes: Unique Intrinsic ATPase Activity and ATP-Independent Dimerization of PfGyrB Subunit▿ †  
Eukaryotic Cell  2007;6(3):398-412.
DNA gyrase, a typical type II topoisomerase that can introduce negative supercoils in DNA, is essential for replication and transcription in prokaryotes. The apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains the genes for both gyrase A and gyrase B in its genome. Due to the large sizes of both proteins and the unusual codon usage of the highly AT-rich P. falciparum gyrA (PfgyrA) and PfgyrB genes, it has so far been impossible to characterize these proteins, which could be excellent drug targets. Here, we report the cloning, expression, and functional characterization of full-length PfGyrB and functional domains of PfGyrA. Unlike Escherichia coli GyrB, PfGyrB shows strong intrinsic ATPase activity and follows a linear pattern of ATP hydrolysis characteristic of dimer formation in the absence of ATP analogues. These unique features have not been reported for any known gyrase so far. The PfgyrB gene complemented the E. coli gyrase temperature-sensitive strain, and, together with the N-terminal domain of PfGyrA, it showed typical DNA cleavage activity. Furthermore, PfGyrA contains a unique leucine heptad repeat that might be responsible for dimerization. These results confirm the presence of DNA gyrase in eukaryotes and confer great potential for drug development and organelle DNA replication in the deadliest human malarial parasite, P. falciparum.
PMCID: PMC1828931  PMID: 17220464
24.  Effects of ciprofloxacin on plasmid DNA supercoiling of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I and gyrase mutants. 
Changes in plasmid DNA supercoiling were measured following treatment of Escherichia coli cells, carrying topoisomerase mutations, with the quinolone ciprofloxacin. In quinolone-susceptible cells (top+ gyr+) as well as in topA mutants and in gyrB mutants, plasmid DNA was relaxed after the addition of ciprofloxacin. In cells partially resistant to quinolones, low ciprofloxacin levels led to an increase in negative superhelicity of plasmid DNA, whereas at higher ciprofloxacin concentrations, DNA became relaxed. Cells exhibiting partial resistance to quinolones carried either a gyrA mutation alone or a combination of gyrA and gyrB mutations. Moreover, they showed a reduction in gyrase activity, indicated by the supercoiling of a reporter plasmid. Therefore, we conclude that a low level of quinolone action and a DNA with a lower-than-normal level of superhelicity are the two essential conditions for obtaining a ciprofloxacin-promoted increase in plasmid DNA supercoiling. In contrast, deficiency in topoisomerase I is not required for this effect.
PMCID: PMC244935  PMID: 1849710
25.  Coumarin and quinolone action in archaebacteria: evidence for the presence of a DNA gyrase-like enzyme. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1988;170(2):946-953.
The action of novobiocin and coumermycin (two coumarins which interact with the gyrB subunit of eubacterial DNA gyrase) and ciprofloxacin (a fluoroquinolone which interacts with the gyrA subunit of DNA gyrase) was tested on several archaebacteria, including five methanogens, two halobacteria, and a thermoacidophile. Most strains were sensitive to doses of coumarins (0.02 to 10 micrograms/ml) which specifically inhibit DNA gyrase in eubacteria. Ciprofloxacin inhibited growth of the haloalkaliphilic strain Natronobacterium gregoryi and of the methanogen Methanosarcina barkeri. In addition, ciprofloxacin partly relieved the sensitivity to coumarins (and vice versa). Novobiocin inhibited DNA replication in Halobacterium halobium rapidly and specifically. Topological analysis has shown that the 1.7-kilobase plasmid from Halobacterium sp. strain GRB is negatively supercoiled; this plasmid was relaxed after novobiocin treatment. These results support the existence in archaebacteria of a coumarin and quinolone target related to eubacterial DNA gyrase.
PMCID: PMC210746  PMID: 2828337

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