Inhibitors of energy metabolism interfere with antibiotic-induced death in mycobacteria

Bei Shi Lee, Nitin P. Kalia, Xin Er F. Jin, Erik J. Hasenoehrl, Michael Berney, Kevin Pethe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Energy metabolism has recently gained interest as a target space for antibiotic drug development in mycobacteria. Of particular importance is bedaquiline (Sirturo), which kills mycobacteria by inhibiting the F1F0 ATP synthase. Other components of the electron transport chain such as the NADH dehydrogenases (NDH-2 and NdhA) and the terminal respiratory oxidase bc1:aa3 are also susceptible to chemical inhibition. Because antituberculosis drugs are prescribed as part of combination therapies, the interaction between novel drugs targeting energy metabolism and classical first and second line antibiotics must be considered to maximize treatment efficiency. Here, we show that subinhibitory concentration of drugs targeting the F1F0 ATP synthase and the cytochrome bc1:aa3, as well as energy uncouplers, interfere with the bactericidal potency of isoniazid and moxifloxacin. Isoniazid- and moxifloxacin-induced mycobacterial death correlated with a transient increase in intracellular ATP that was dissipated by co-incubation with energy metabolism inhibitors. Although oxidative phosphorylation is a promising target space for drug development, a better understanding of the link between energy metabolism and antibiotic-induced mycobacterial death is essential to develop potent drug combinations for the treatment of tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1936-1943
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 8 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibitors of energy metabolism interfere with antibiotic-induced death in mycobacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this