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.