New tryptophanase inhibitors: Towards prevention of bacterial biofilm formation

Roni Scherzer, Garik Y. Gdalevsky, Yehuda Goldgur, Rivka Cohen-Luria, Shmuel Bittner, Abraham H. Parola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Tryptophanase (tryptophan indole-lyase, Tnase, EC, a bacterial enzyme with no counterpart in eukaryotic cells, produces from L-tryptophan pyruvate, ammonia and indole. It was recently suggested that indole signaling plays an important role in the stable maintenance of multicopy plasmids. In addition, Tnase was shown to be capable of binding Rcd, a short RNA molecule involved in resolution of plasmid multimers. Binding of Rcd increases the affinity of Tnase for tryptophan, and it was proposed that indole is involved in bacteria multiplication and biofilm formation. Biofilm-associated bacteria may cause serious infections, and biofilm contamination of equipment and food, may result in expensive consequences. Thus, optimal and specific factors that interact with Tnase can be used as a tool to study the role of this multifunctional enzyme as well as antibacterial agents that may affect biofilm formation. Most known quasi-substrates inhibit Tnase at the mM range. In the present work, the mode of Tnase inhibition by the following compounds and the corresponding Ki values were: S-phenylbenzoquinone-L-tryptophan, uncompetitively, 101 μM; α-amino-2-(9,10-anthraquinone)-propanoic acid, noncompetitively, 174 μM; L-tryptophane-ethylester, competitively, 52 μM; N-acetyl-L-tryptophan, noncompetitively, 48 μM. S-phenylbenzoquinone-L- tryptophan and α-amino-2-(9,10-anthraquinone)-propanoic acid were newly synthesized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-355
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • Indole
  • Inhibition
  • L-tryptophan
  • Quasi-substrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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