Synthesis of macrocyclic nucleoside antibacterials and their interactions with MraY

Takeshi Nakaya, Miyuki Yabe, Ellene H. Mashalidis, Toyotaka Sato, Kazuki Yamamoto, Yuta Hikiji, Akira Katsuyama, Motoko Shinohara, Yusuke Minato, Satoshi Takahashi, Motohiro Horiuchi, Shin ichi Yokota, Seok Yong Lee, Satoshi Ichikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of new antibacterial drugs with different mechanisms of action is urgently needed to address antimicrobial resistance. MraY is an essential membrane enzyme required for bacterial cell wall synthesis. Sphaerimicins are naturally occurring macrocyclic nucleoside inhibitors of MraY and are considered a promising target in antibacterial discovery. However, developing sphaerimicins as antibacterials has been challenging due to their complex macrocyclic structures. In this study, we construct their characteristic macrocyclic skeleton via two key reactions. Having then determined the structure of a sphaerimicin analogue bound to MraY, we use a structure-guided approach to design simplified sphaerimicin analogues. These analogues retain potency against MraY and exhibit potent antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including clinically isolated drug resistant strains of S. aureus and E. faecium. Our study combines synthetic chemistry, structural biology, and microbiology to provide a platform for the development of MraY inhibitors as antibacterials against drug-resistant bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7575
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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