Research + Discoveries

Franz Lab Demonstrates Copper’s Role in Antibacterial Mechanism of a Prochelator

The Franz Lab and collaborators explored the antibacterial mechanism of PcephPT, a prodrug of the antimicrobial chelator pyrithione.  Graduate students Jacqueline Zaengle-Barone and Abigail Jackson and former grad student David Besse found that PcephPT has an unconventional mode of action, requiring β-lactamase expression and copper availability for maximal activity. This “prochelator" overcomes the liability of metal chelation toxicity because it does not chelate metal ions until specifically triggered to do so, essentially by co-opting the drug-resistance machinery of the bacteria themselves to selectively direct copper toxicity against them. Read more about this work here in ACS Infectious Diseases.


Franz Lab Prochealator