Some inhibitors with a squaramide core was synthesized following its discovery in a high-throughput screen for novel inhibitors of a transcription-coupled translation assay using S30 extracts. consistent with the resistance mutations. The squaramides are the first reported non-natural-product-related, rapidly diversifiable antibacterial inhibitors acting via the switch region of RNA polymerase. INTRODUCTION Clinical resistance to currently prescribed antibiotics is on the rise, thus increasing the need for new classes of antimicrobials that can circumvent emerging resistance mechanisms (10). There are still only a few enzymes that are essential for bacterial growth and have been clinically validated as antibacterial targets. All clinical antibacterial protein translation inhibitors have so far been identified by cell-based screening efforts with compounds from natural sources (8). New, small inhibitors might be found by screening small-molecule libraries for inhibitors of the translation machinery with an system, such as transcription-coupled translation in bacterial S30 extracts. Here, we report the discovery of squaramides as inhibitors of RNA polymerase (RNAP) that resulted from such a screening effort. The antimicrobial activity against an efflux-negative strain of was exploited to show that squaramides mediate their inhibitory activity via the switch region of RNAP. Their mode of action therefore is similar to that of the natural compounds myxopyronin, corallopyronin, ripostatin, and fidaxomicin (26) rather than that of rifamycins, which bind closer to the catalytic site and prevent RNA Rabbit polyclonal to AMPK gamma1 extension (7). This is the first report of rapidly diversifiable small-molecule inhibitors of RNAP with that mode of inhibition, supporting the use of a transcription-coupled translation assay to find novel inhibitory scaffolds of the RNAP switch region in small-molecule collections. MATERIALS AND METHODS Bacterial strains. RNAP and S30 extracts were isolated 17-AAG from MRE600 (ATCC 2941). For susceptibility studies ATCC 27325 and ATCC 51907 were used, which were also the parental strains of and RNA polymerase. Purification of RNAP was based upon the procedure developed by Burgess and Jendrisak (4). The enzyme was purified from cultures produced in 5 liters Terrific Broth in a Bioflo 3000 fermentor (New Brunswick Scientific, Edison, NJ) at 37C with constant agitation at 300 rpm and harvested at an optical density at 600 nm (OD600) of up to 17. The resulting 120-g wet weight of frozen cell paste was resuspended in 200 ml of lysis buffer consisting of 25 mM Tris-HCl (pH 8.0), 1 mM EDTA, 10 mM dithiothreitol (DTT), 10 mM MgCl2, 10% (vol/vol) glycerol, 20 mM spermidine, and five protease inhibitor cocktail tablets (Roche Molecular Biochemical, Indianapolis, IN). Cells were disrupted by a French press at 18,000 lb/in2 twice, and the crude extract was centrifuged at 150,000 for 30 min at 4C. Solid ammonium sulfate (0.35 g/ml) was added to the supernatant, which was mixed at 4C for 1 h and then centrifuged at 100,000 for 20 min at 4C. The pellets were suspended in 100 ml of buffer A, consisting of 25 mM Tris-HCl (pH 8.0), 1 mM EDTA, 10 mM DTT, 10 mM MgCl2, and 10% (vol/vol) glycerol, and dialyzed against 4 liters of buffer A at 4C overnight. The dialyzed sample was centrifuged at 10,000 at 4C for 30 min to remove insoluble proteins. The supernatant was loaded at a flow rate of 3.0 ml/min onto a 300-ml Q-Sepharose HP (XK 50/30) column (GE Healthcare Life Sciences, Piscataway, NJ) preequilibrated with buffer A. The column was washed with buffer A, and the protein was eluted with 0.35 M NaCl in buffer A. Fractions made up of RNAP were identified by Western blotting with anti-RNAP subunit monoclonal antibody (Neoclone, Madison, WI), pooled, and dialyzed against 2 liters of buffer A at 4C overnight. The dialyzed sample was loaded at a flow rate of 2.0 ml/min onto a 60-ml Q-Sepharose HP (XK 26/20) 17-AAG column (GE Healthcare Life Sciences) preequilibrated with buffer A. The column was then washed with buffer A, and the protein was eluted by a linear gradient from 0 to 1 1 M NaCl in buffer A. Fractions made up of RNAP were pooled and dialyzed against 1 liter of buffer A overnight at 4C. The dialyzed sample was loaded at a flow rate of 1 1.5 ml/min onto 17-AAG a 20-ml heparin Sepharose CL-6B (HR16/10) column (GE Healthcare Life Sciences) preequilibrated with buffer A. After the column was washed with 100 ml of buffer A, the protein was eluted by a linear gradient from 0 to 1 1 M NaCl in buffer A. The fractions made up of holoenzyme with subunit 2 were pooled and dialyzed against 1 liter of 50 mM Tris-HCl.