FtsZ as an Antibacterial Target: Status and Guidelines for Progressing This Avenue

Publication Type:
Journal Article
ACS Infectious Diseases, 2019, 5 (8), pp. 1279 - 1294
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 American Chemical Society. The disturbing increase in the number of bacterial pathogens that are resistant to multiple, or sometimes all, current antibiotics highlights the desperate need to pursue the discovery and development of novel classes of antibacterials. The wealth of knowledge available about the bacterial cell division machinery has aided target-driven approaches to identify new inhibitor compounds. The main division target being pursued is the highly conserved and essential protein FtsZ. Despite very active research on FtsZ inhibitors for several years, this protein is not yet targeted by any commercial antibiotic. Here, we discuss the suitability of FtsZ as an antibacterial target for drug development and review progress achieved in this area. We use hindsight to highlight the gaps that have slowed progress in FtsZ inhibitor development and to suggest guidelines for concluding that FtsZ is actually the target of these molecules, a key missing link in several studies. In moving forward, a multidisciplinary, communicative, and collaborative process, with sharing of research expertise, is critical if we are to succeed.
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