• Lamers AP, Keithly ME, Kim K, Cook PD, Stec DF, Hines KM, Sulikowski GA, Armstrong RN. Synthesis of bacillithiol and the catalytic selectivity of FosB-type fosfomycin resistance proteins. Organic letters. 2012 Oct 19;14(20). 5207-9. PMID: 23030527 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC3544479. NIHMSID: NIHMS412492.


Bacillithiol (BSH) has been prepared on the gram scale from the inexpensive starting material, D-glucosamine hydrochloride, in 11 steps and 8-9% overall yield. The BSH was used to survey the substrate and metal-ion selectivity of FosB enzymes from four Gram-positive microorganisms associated with the deactivation of the antibiotic fosfomycin. The in vitro results indicate that the preferred thiol substrate and metal ion for the FosB from Staphylococcus aureus are BSH and Ni(II), respectively. However, the metal-ion selectivity is less distinct with FosB from Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus anthracis, or Bacillus cereus.