Is bacterial fatty acid synthesis a valid target for antibacterial drug discovery?

Published

Journal Article (Review)

The emergence of resistance against most current drugs emphasizes the need to develop new approaches to control bacterial pathogens, particularly Staphylococcus aureus. Bacterial fatty acid synthesis is one such target that is being actively pursued by several research groups to develop anti-Staphylococcal agents. Recently, the wisdom of this approach has been challenged based on the ability of a Gram-positive bacterium to incorporate extracellular fatty acids and thus circumvent the inhibition of de novo fatty acid synthesis. The generality of this conclusion has been challenged, and there is enough diversity in the enzymes and regulation of fatty acid synthesis in bacteria to conclude that there is not a single organism that can be considered typical and representative of bacteria as a whole. We are left without a clear resolution to this ongoing debate and await new basic research to define the pathways for fatty acid uptake and that determine the biochemical and genetic mechanisms for the regulation of fatty acid synthesis in Gram-positive bacteria. These crucial experiments will determine whether diversity in the control of this important pathway accounts for the apparently different responses of Gram-positive bacteria to the inhibition of de novo fatty acid synthesis in presence of extracellular fatty acid supplements.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Parsons, JB; Rock, CO

Published Date

  • October 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 544 - 549

PubMed ID

  • 21862391

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21862391

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0364

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1369-5274

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.mib.2011.07.029

Language

  • eng