Daisuke Ono, Maria F. Mojica, Christopher R. Bethel, Yoshikazu Ishii, Salvador I. Drusin, Diego M. Moreno, Alejandro J. Vila, Robert A. Bonomo

Structural role of K224 in taniborbactam inhibition of NDM-1

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

ABSTRACT Taniborbactam (TAN; VNRX-5133) is a novel bicyclic boronic acid β-lactamase inhibitor (BLI) being developed in combination with cefepime (FEP). TAN inhibits both serine and some metallo-β-lactamases. Previously, the substitution R228L in VIM-24 was shown to increase activity against oxyimino-cephalosporins like FEP and ceftazidime (CAZ). We hypothesized that substitutions at K224, the homologous position in NDM-1, could impact FEP/TAN resistance. To evaluate this, a library of codon-optimized NDM K224X clones for minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) measurements was constructed; steady-state kinetics and molecular docking simulations were next performed. Surprisingly, our investigation revealed that the addition of TAN restored FEP susceptibility only for NDM-1, as the MICs for the other 19 K224X variants remained comparable to those of FEP alone. Moreover, compared to NDM-1, all K224X variants displayed significantly lower MICs for imipenem, tebipenem, and cefiderocol (32-, 133-, and 33-fold lower, respectively). In contrast, susceptibility to CAZ was mostly unaffected. Kinetic assays with the K224I variant, the only variant with hydrolytic activity to FEP comparable to NDM-1, confirmed that the inhibitory capacity of TAN was modestly compromised (IC 50 0.01 µM vs 0.14 µM for NDM-1). Lastly, structural modeling and docking simulations of TAN in NDM-1 and in the K224I variant revealed that the hydrogen bond between TAN’s carboxylate with K224 is essential for the productive binding of TAN to the NDM-1 active site. In addition to the report of NDM-9 (E149K) as FEP/TAN resistant, this study demonstrates the fundamental role of single amino acid substitutions in the inhibition of NDM-1 by TAN.

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