This week in techniques



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Assays & screens

Metabolite suppression profiling to understand the mechanism of action for antibacterial compounds

Metabolite suppression profiles can help define the mechanism of action for antibacterial compounds. In limited nutrient conditions in which bacteria rely on biosynthetic pathways to survive and grow, supplementation with primary metabolites can suppress the antibacterial activity of compounds acting in the same or related pathways. In Escherichia coli, the metabolite suppression profiles of 22 known antibacterial compounds were consistent with their known mechanisms of action. In a chemical screen, metabolite suppression profiling led to the discovery and mechanistic characterization of three new antibacterial compounds. Next steps include performing screens with larger compound collections and evaluating the three identified compounds in animal models of bacterial infection.

SciBX 6(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1236
Published online Nov. 7, 2013

Patent application filed covering the three lead compounds; available for licensing

Zlitni, S. et al. Nat. Chem. Biol.; published online Oct. 13, 2013;
Contact: Eric D. Brown, McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada