Molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and binding free energy studies of interactions between Mycobacterium tuberculosis Pks13, PknG and bioactive constituents of extremophilic bacteria

Kudakwashe Nyambo, Kudzanai Ian Tapfuma, Francis Adu-Amankwaah, Lauren Julius, Lucinda Baatjies, Idah Sithole Niang, Liezel Smith, Krishna Kuben Govender, Mkhuseli Ngxande, Daniel J. Watson, Lubbe Wiesner, Vuyo Mavumengwana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mycobacterial pathogens present a significant challenge to disease control efforts globally due to their inherent resistance to multiple antibiotics. The rise of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has prompted an urgent need for innovative therapeutic solutions. One promising way to discover new tuberculosis drugs is by utilizing natural products from the vast biochemical space. Multidisciplinary methods can used to harness the bioactivity of these natural products. This study aimed to evaluate the antimycobacterial efficacy of functional crude extracts from bacteria isolated from gold mine tailings in South Africa. Bacterial strains were identified using 16S rRNA sequencing. The crude extracts obtained from the bacteria were tested against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155, and Mycobacterium aurum A+. Untargeted HPLC-qTOF and molecular networking were used to identify the functional constituents present in extracts that exhibited inhibitory activity. A virtual screening workflow (VSW) was used to filter compounds that were strong binders to Mycobacterium tuberculosis Pks13 and PknG. The ligands returned from the VSW were subjected to optimization using density functional theory (DFT) at M06-2X/6-311++ (d,p) level of theory and basis set implemented in Gaussian16 Rev.C01. The optimized ligands were re-docked against Mycobacterium tuberculosis Pks13 and PknG. Molecular dynamics simulation and molecular mechanics generalized born surface area were used to evaluate the stability of the protein–ligand complexes formed by the identified hits. The hit that showed promising binding characteristics was virtually modified through multiple synthetic routes using reaction-driven enumeration. Three bacterial isolates showed significant activity against the two strains of Mycobacterium, while only two, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis, exhibited activity against both Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155, and Mycobacterium aurum A+. The tentatively identified compounds from the bacterial crude extracts belonged to various classes of natural compounds associated with antimicrobial activity. Two compounds, cyclo-(L-Pro-4-OH-L-Leu) and vazabitide A, showed strong binding against PknG and Pks13, with pre-MD MM-GBSA values of − 42.8 kcal/mol and − 47.6 kcal/mol, respectively. The DFT-optimized compounds exhibited the same docking scores as the ligands optimized using the OPSL-4 force field. After modifying vazabitide A, its affinity to the Pks13 binding site increased to − 85.8 kcal/mol, as revealed by the post-MD MM-GBSA analysis. This study highlights the potential of bacteria isolates from gold mine tailings as a source of new scaffolds for designing and optimizing anti-Mycobacterium agents. These agents synthesized in-silico can be further tested in-vitro to evaluate their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6794
JournalScientific Reports
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Multidisciplinary

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