Oxidation of the guanine nucleotide pool underlies cell death by bactericidal antibiotics.

Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 04/2012; 336(6079):315-9. DOI: 10.1126/science.1219192
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A detailed understanding of the mechanisms that underlie antibiotic killing is important for the derivation of new classes of antibiotics and clinically useful adjuvants for current antimicrobial therapies. Our efforts to understand why DinB (DNA polymerase IV) overproduction is cytotoxic to Escherichia coli led to the unexpected insight that oxidation of guanine to 8-oxo-guanine in the nucleotide pool underlies much of the cell death caused by both DinB overproduction and bactericidal antibiotics. We propose a model in which the cytotoxicity of beta-lactams and quinolones predominantly results from lethal double-strand DNA breaks caused by incomplete repair of closely spaced 8-oxo-deoxyguanosine lesions, whereas the cytotoxicity of aminoglycosides might additionally result from mistranslation due to the incorporation of 8-oxo-guanine into newly synthesized RNAs.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lung infection is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis and is mainly dominated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The biofilm mode of growth makes eradication of the infection impossible, and it causes a chronic inflammation in the airways. The general mechanisms of biofilm formation and antimicrobial tolerance and resistance are reviewed. Potential anti-biofilm therapeutic targets such as weakening of biofilms by quorum-sensing inhibitors or antibiotic killing guided by pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antibiotics are presented. The vicious circle of adaptive evolution of the persisting bacteria imposes important therapeutic challenges and requires development of new drug delivery systems able to reach the different niches occupied by the bacteria in the lung of cystic fibrosis patients. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.addr.2014.11.017 · 12.71 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Support for the contribution of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to antimicrobial lethality has been refined and strengthened. Killing by diverse antimicrobials is enhanced by defects in genes that protect against ROS, inhibited by compounds that block hydroxyl radical accumulation, and is associated with surges in intracellular ROS. Moreover, support has emerged for a genetic pathway that controls the level of ROS. Since some antimicrobials kill in the absence of ROS, ROS must add to, rather than replace, known killing mechanisms. New work has addressed many of the questions concerning the specificity of dyes used to detect intracellular ROS and the specificity of perturbations that influence ROS surges. However, complexities associated with killing under anaerobic conditions remain to be resolved. Distinctions among primary lesion formation, resistance, direct lesion-mediated killing and a self-destructive stress response are discussed to facilitate efforts to potentiate ROS-mediated bacterial killing and improve antimicrobial efficacy. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 11/2014; 70(3). DOI:10.1093/jac/dku463 · 5.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In Escherichia coli, an increase in the ATP bound form of the DnaA initiator protein results in hyperinitiation and inviability. Here, we show that such replication stress is tolerated during anaerobic growth. In hyperinitiating cells, a shift from anaerobic to aerobic growth resulted in appearance of fragmented chromosomes and a decrease in terminus concentration, leading to a dramatic increase in ori/ter ratio and cessation of cell growth. Aerobic viability was restored by reducing the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or by deleting mutM (Fpg glycosylase). The double-strand breaks observed in hyperinitiating cells therefore results from replication forks encountering single-stranded DNA lesions generated while removing oxidized bases, primarily 8-oxoG, from the DNA. We conclude that there is a delicate balance between chromosome replication and ROS inflicted DNA damage so the number of replication forks can only increase when ROS formation is reduced or when the pertinent repair is compromised.
    Nucleic Acids Research 11/2014; 42(21). DOI:10.1093/nar/gku1149 · 8.81 Impact Factor


Available from