Covalent Modifiers of Botulinum Neurotoxin Counteract Toxin Persistence.


:Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent toxins known to man and a significant threat as weapons of bioterrorism. BoNTs contain a metalloprotease domain that blocks neurotransmitter release in nerve terminals, resulting in a descending, flaccid paralysis with a 5-10% mortality rate. Existing treatment options cannot access or neutralize the toxin following its endocytosis, so there is a clear need to develop novel therapies. Numerous substrate-based and zinc-chelating small-molecule inhibitors have been reported; however, none have progressed to the clinic. This is likely due to the difficulty that reversible inhibitors have in achieving sustained inhibition of the toxin, which has a half-life of months in vivo. An alternative strategy for mitigating BoNT persistence is covalent, irreversible inhibition of toxin function. However, few examples of covalent BoNT inhibitors have been reported. Here, we describe a competition-based screen to identify covalent modifiers of the conserved active-site-adjacent cysteine C165 in the BoNT/A serotype. We found that compounds containing cysteine-reactive electrophiles designed to target cysteine proteases failed to bind C165 while selenide compounds were efficient covalent binders of this cysteine. Importantly, covalent modification at C165 resulted in sustained, irreversible inhibition of BoNT/A protease activity. Covalent selenide inhibitors were nontoxic and protective in a neuronal assay of intoxication, making them promising new scaffolds for the study of the BoNT/A toxin as well as for the design of novel therapy agents.


ACS Chem Biol


ACS chemical biology


Garland M,Babin BM,Miyashita SI,Loscher S,Shen Y,Dong M,Bogyo M




Has Abstract


2019-01-18 00:00:00












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