Structural Insights into the Ligand–LsrK Kinase Binding Mode: A Step Forward in the Discovery of Novel Antimicrobial Agents

Listro, R.; Milli, G.; Pellegrini, A.; Motta, C.; Cavalloro, V.; Martino, E.; Kirchmair, J.; Pietrocola, G.; Rossi, D.; Linciano, P.; Collina, S.

(2023) Molecules28, 2542

DOI: 10.3390/molecules28062542

ABSTRACT: LsrK is a bacterial kinase that triggers the quorum sensing, and it represents a druggable target for the identification of new agents for fighting antimicrobial resistance. Herein, we exploited tryptophan fluorescence spectroscopy (TFS) as a suitable technique for the identification of potential LsrK ligands from an in-house library of chemicals comprising synthetic compounds as well as secondary metabolites. Three secondary metabolites (Hib-esterHib-carbaldehydeand (R)-ASME) showed effective binding to LsrK, with KD values in the sub-micromolar range. The conformational changes were confirmed via circular dichroism and molecular docking results further validated the findings and displayed the specific mode of interaction. The activity of the identified compounds on the biofilm formation by some Staphylococcus spp. was investigated. Hib-carbaldehyde and (R)-ASME were able to reduce the production of biofilm, with (R)-ASME resulting in the most effective compound with an EC50 of 14 mg/well. The successful application of TFS highlights its usefulness in searching for promising LsrK inhibitor candidates with inhibitor efficacy against biofilm formation.