Pyrazinamide is a sterilizing first-line tuberculosis drug. Genetic, metabolomic and biophysical analyses previously demonstrated that pyrazinoic acid, the bioactive form of the prodrug pyrazinamide (PZA), interrupts biosynthesis of coenzyme A in Mycobacterium tuberculosis by binding to aspartate decarboxylase PanD. While most drugs act by inhibiting protein function upon target binding, we find here that pyrazinoic acid is only a weak enzyme inhibitor. We show that binding of pyrazinoic acid to PanD triggers degradation of the protein by the caseinolytic protease ClpC1-ClpP. Thus, the old tuberculosis drug pyrazinamide exerts antibacterial activity by acting as a target degrader, a mechanism of action that has recently emerged as a successful strategy in drug discovery across disease indications. Our findings provide the basis for the rational discovery of next generation PZA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)