Dysregulation of Mycobacterium marinum ESX-5 Secretion by Novel 1,2,4-oxadiazoles

Vien Q.T. Ho, Mark K. Rong, Eva Habjan, Samantha D. Bommer, Thang V. Pham, Sander R. Piersma, Wilbert Bitter, Eelco Ruijter, Alexander Speer

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The ESX-5 secretion system is essential for the viability and virulence of slow-growing pathogenic mycobacterial species. In this study, we identified a 1,2,4-oxadiazole derivative as a putative effector of the ESX-5 secretion system. We confirmed that this 1,2,4-oxadiazole and several newly synthesized derivatives inhibited the ESX-5-dependent secretion of active lipase LipY by Mycobacterium marinum (M. marinum). Despite reduced lipase activity, we did not observe a defect in LipY secretion itself. Moreover, we found that several other ESX-5 substrates, especially the high molecular-weight PE_PGRS MMAR_5294, were even more abundantly secreted by M. marinum treated with several 1,2,4-oxadiazoles. Analysis of M. marinum grown in the presence of different oxadiazole derivatives revealed that the secretion of LipY and the induction of PE_PGRS secretion were, in fact, two independent phenotypes, as we were able to identify structural features in the compounds that specifically induced only one of these phenotypes. Whereas the three most potent 1,2,4-oxadiazoles displayed only a mild effect on the growth of M. marinum or M. tuberculosis in culture, these compounds significantly reduced bacterial burden in M. marinum-infected zebrafish models. In conclusion, we report a 1,2,4-oxadiazole scaffold that dysregulates ESX-5 protein secretion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number211
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    Issue number2
    Early online date21 Jan 2023
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


    • ESX-5
    • Mycobacterium marinum
    • mycobacteria
    • protein secretion
    • type VII secretion

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