Chemistry & biology

Metabolomic identification of the target of the filopodia protrusion inhibitor glucopiericidin A.

PMID 20851348


Identifying the targets of bioactive compounds is a major challenge in chemical biological research. Here, we identified the functional target of the natural bioactive compound glucopiericidin A (GPA) through metabolomic analysis. We isolated GPA while screening microbial samples for a filopodia protrusion inhibitor. Interestingly, GPA alone did not inhibit filopodia protrusion, but synergistically inhibit protrusion with the mitochondrial respiration inhibitor, piericidin A (PA). These results suggested that GPA might inhibit glycolysis. Capillary electrophoresis time-of-flight mass spectrometry (CE-TOFMS) provided strong evidence that GPA suppresses glycolysis by functionally targeting the glucose transporter. GPA may therefore serve as a glucose transporter chemical probe. Simultaneous inhibition of both glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration dramatically decreased intracellular ATP levels, indicating that GPA inhibits ATP-dependent filopodia protrusion with PA. Our results represent a challenge of molecular target identification using metabolomic analysis.