Synthesis and evaluation of inhibitors of E. coli PgaB, a polysaccharide de-N-acetylase involved in biofilm formation Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Many medically important biofilm forming bacteria produce similar polysaccharide intercellular adhesins (PIA) consisting of partially de-N-acetylated β-(1 → 6)-N-acetylglucosamine polymers (dPNAG). In Escherichia coli, de-N-acetylation of the β-(1 → 6)-N-acetylglucosamine polymer (PNAG) is catalysed by the carbohydrate esterase family 4 deacetylase PgaB. The de-N-acetylation of PNAG is essential for productive PNAG-dependent biofilm formation. Here, we describe the development of a fluorogenic assay to monitor PgaB activity in vitro and the synthesis of a series of PgaB inhibitors. The synthesized inhibitors consist of a metal chelating functional group on a glucosamine scaffold to target the active site metal ion of PgaB. Optimal inhibition was observed with N-thioglycolyl amide (K(i) = 480 μM) and N-methyl-N-glycolyl amide (K(i) = 320 μM) glucosamine derivatives. A chemoenzymatic synthesis of an N-thioglycolyl amide PNAG pentasaccharide led to an inhibitor with an improved K(i) of 280 μM.


  • Chibba, Anthony
  • Poloczek, Joanna
  • Little, Dustin J
  • Howell, P Lynne
  • Nitz, Mark

publication date

  • 2012