We are interested in identifying and characterizing small molecule inhibitors of bacterial virulence factors for their potential use as anti-virulence inhibitors. We identified from high-throughput screening assays a potential activity for avasimibe, a previously characterized acyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase inhibitor, in inhibiting the NleB and SseK arginine glycosyltransferases from Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica, respectively. Avasimibe inhibited the activity of the Citrobacter rodentium NleB, E. coli NleB1, and S. enterica SseK1 enzymes, without affecting the activity of the human serine/threonine N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) transferase. Avasimibe was not toxic to mammalian cells at up to 200 µM and was neither bacteriostatic nor bactericidal at concentrations of up to 125 µM. Doses of 10 µM avasimibe were sufficient to reduce S. enterica abundance in RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells, and intraperitoneal injection of avasimibe significantly reduced C. rodentium survival in mice, regardless of whether the avasimibe was administered pre- or post-infection. We propose that avasimibe or related derivates created using synthetic chemistry may have utility in preventing or treating bacterial infections by inhibiting arginine glycosyltransferases that are important to virulence.
Hasan, M.K.; El Qaidi, S.; McDonald, P.; Roy, A.; Hardwidge, P.R. Repurposing Avasimibe to Inhibit Bacterial Glycosyltransferases. Pathogens 2022, 11, 370. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11030370