FtsZ is an attractive target for antibiotic research because it is an essential bacterial cell division protein that polymerizes in a GTP-dependent manner. To find the seed chemical structure, we established a high-throughput, quantitative screening method combining fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCCS) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR). As a new concept for the application of FCCS to polymerization-prone protein, Staphylococcus aureus FtsZ was fragmented into the N-terminal and C-terminal, which were fused with GFP and mCherry (red fluorescent protein), respectively. By this fragmentation, the GTP-dependent head-to-tail dimerization of each fluorescent labeled fragment of FtsZ could be observed, and the inhibitory processes of chemicals could be monitored by FCCS. In the first round of screening by FCCS, 28 candidates were quantitatively and statistically selected from 495 chemicals determined by in silico screening. Subsequently, in the second round of screening by FCCS, 71 candidates were also chosen from 888 chemicals selected via an in silico structural similarity search of the chemicals screened in the first round of screening. Moreover, the dissociation constants between the highest inhibitory chemicals and Staphylococcus aureus FtsZ were determined by SPR. Finally, by measuring the minimum inhibitory concentration, it was confirmed that the screened chemical had antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Mikuni, S., Kodama, K., Sasaki, A., Kohira, N., Maki, H., Munetomo, M., … Kinjo, M. (2015). Screening for FtsZ dimerization inhibitors using fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy and surface resonance plasmon analysis. PLoS ONE, 10(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130933