Drug repurposing is an efficient alternative approach to counter the increasing drug-resistant pathogens to treat infectious diseases. FtsZ is an essential bacterial cytokinesis protein involved in the formation of cell-division complex and targeting FtsZ using FDA approved drugs is a promising strategy to identify and develop a new antibacterial drug. Using in silico pharmacophore-based screening of drug bank, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulations, we identified six drugs inhibiting the function of stFtsZ from Salmonella Typhi. The drugs target stFtsZ at the hydrophobic cleft formed between the C-terminal domain and helix α7 with binding energy better than -8 kcal/mol. Out of these six drugs, benzethonium chloride showed promising results at 8 μM concentration, where it inhibits stFtsZ GTPase activity by 80% and prevents polymerization. Benzethonium chloride also possesses an excellent antibacterial activity against the bacterial culture of Salmonella Typhi (ATCC 19430), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 43300) and Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) with the MIC values of 8 μg/mL, 1 μg/mL and 12 μg/mL respectively. Based on our current study, the scaffold of benzethonium chloride can be used for the development of broad-spectrum antibacterial agents against drug-resistant pathogens.
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