Mutations in Confer Low-Level Resistance to Benzothiazinone DprE1 Inhibitors in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, Volume: 66, Issue: 9
September 20, 2022
Nicholas C Poulton NC, Zachary A Azadian ZA, Michael A DeJesus MA, Jeremy M Rock JM

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death from any bacterial infection, causing 1.5 million deaths worldwide each year. Due to the emergence of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) there have been significant efforts aimed at developing novel drugs to treat TB. One promising drug target in Mtb is the arabinogalactan biosynthetic enzyme DprE1, and there have been over a dozen unique chemical scaffolds identified which inhibit the activity of this protein. Among the most promising lead compounds are the benzothiazinones BTZ043 and PBTZ169, both of which are currently in or have completed phase IIa clinical trials. Due to the potential clinical utility of these drugs, we sought to identify potential synergistic interactions and new mechanisms of resistance using a genome-scale CRISPRi chemical-genetic screen with PBTZ169. We found that knockdown of , the negative regulator of the drug efflux pump, confers resistance to PBTZ169. Mutations in are the most common form of resistance to bedaquiline and there is already abundant evidence of these mutations emerging in bedaquiline-treated patients. We confirmed that mutations from clinical isolates confer low level cross-resistance to BTZ043 and PBTZ169. While it is yet unclear whether mutations would render benzothiazinones ineffective in treating TB, these results highlight the importance of monitoring for clinically prevalent mutations during ongoing BTZ043 and PBTZ169 clinical trials.

Courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine