Structure of the Essential Mtb FadD32 Enzyme: A Promising Drug Target for Treating Tuberculosis

Misty L. Kuhn, Evan Alexander, George Minasov, Holland J. Page, Zdzislaw Warwrzak, Ludmilla Shuvalova, Kristin J. Flores, Daniel J. Wilson, Ce Shi, Courtney C. Aldrich*, Wayne F. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Mycolic acids are indispensible lipids of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), and contribute to the distinctive architecture and impermeability of the mycobacterial cell envelope. FadD32 plays a pivotal role in mycolic acid biosynthesis by functionally linking fatty acid synthase (FAS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) biosynthetic pathways. FadD32, a fatty acyl-AMP ligase (FAAL), represents one of the best genetically and chemically validated new TB drug targets. We have determined the three-dimensional crystal structure of Mtb FadD32 in complex with a ligand specifically designed to stabilize the catalytically active adenylate-conformation, which provides a foundation for structure-based drug design efforts against this essential protein. The structure also captures the unique interactions of a FAAL-specific insertion sequence and provides insight into the specificity and mechanism of fatty acid transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-591
Number of pages13
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 12 2016


  • FadD32
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • fatty acyl-AMP ligase
  • mycolic acid biosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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