Several dipeptides, containing the -(4-methoxyfumaroyl)-L-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (FMDP) moiety linked to protein and non-protein amino acids, exhibited a strong growth-inhibitory and bactericidal effect against FMDP-dipeptides were efficiently transported into bacterial cells by a di-tripeptide permease and subsequently cleaved by intracellular Mn/Co-dependent peptidases. Cleavage rates [0.1-5.6 μmol min (mg protein)] were about two orders of magnitude lower than transport rates [40-200 μmol min (mg dry wt)]. The released FMDP inactivated glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN-6-P) isomerase, an enzyme catalysing the first committed step in a biosynthetic pathway leading to amino sugar-nucleotide precursors of bacterial peptidoglycan. Inhibition of GlcN-6-P isomerase precluded peptidoglycan biosynthesis and resulted in a strong bacteriolytic effect. Results of the studies on consequences of GlcN-6-P isomerase inhibition upon the action of FMDP-dipeptides provided evidence demonstrating that the lack of endogenous GlcN-6-P could be a reason for the triggering of bacterial autolysis. Peptides containing the inhibitors of GlcN-6-P isomerase are one of the very few antimicrobial agents known that exhibit both bactericidal and fungicidal effects.


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