[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria has led to renewed interest in development of alternative antimicrobial compounds such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), either naturally-occurring or synthetically-derived. Knowledge of the mode of action (MOA) of synthetic compounds mimicking the function of AMPs is highly valuable both when developing new types of antimicrobials and when predicting resistance development. Despite many functional studies of AMPs, only a few of the synthetic peptides have been studied in detail.
We investigated the MOA of the lysine-peptoid hybrid, LP5, which previously has been shown to display antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. At concentrations of LP5 above the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), the peptoid caused ATP leakage from bacterial cells. However, at concentrations close to the MIC, LP5 inhibited the growth of S. aureus without ATP leakage. Instead, LP5 bound DNA and inhibited macromolecular synthesis. The binding to DNA also led to inhibition of DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV and caused induction of the SOS response.
Our data demonstrate that LP5 may have a dual mode of action against S. aureus. At MIC concentrations, LP5 binds DNA and inhibits macromolecular synthesis and growth, whereas at concentrations above the MIC, LP5 targets the bacterial membrane leading to disruption of the membrane. These results add new information about the MOA of a new synthetic AMP and aid in the future design of synthetic peptides with increased therapeutic potential.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, small RNAs (sRNAs) have been identified as important regulators of gene expression in bacteria. Most sRNAs are encoded from intergenic regions and are only expressed under highly specific growth conditions. In Staphylococcus aureus, the alternative sigma factor, σ(B), is known to contribute to the overall stress response, antibiotic resistance, and virulence. The σ(B) regulon in S. aureus is well described and comprises approximately 200 annotated genes, including several genes encoding virulence factors. In the present study, we have identified three novel σ(B)-dependent transcripts encoded from genomic regions previously annotated as intergenic. All three transcripts, named SbrA, SbrB, and SbrC, are highly conserved in S. aureus, and we confirmed their presence in four different isolates (SH1000, Newman, COL, and UAMS-1). Curiously, two of these genes (sbrA and sbrB) were found to contain open reading frames encoding small, highly basic peptides that are conserved among Staphylococci. The third transcript (SbrC) did not contain any likely open reading frame and thus constitute a genuine non-coding sRNA. The functions of these genes are currently unknown but are likely to be important for the σ(B)-mediated response of S. aureus to adverse conditions.
Archives of Microbiology 10/2010; 193(1):23-34. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Host defence peptides (HDPs), also known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), have emerged as potential new therapeutics and their antimicrobial spectrum covers a wide range of target organisms. However, the mode of action and the genetics behind the bacterial response to HDPs is incompletely understood and such knowledge is required to evaluate their potential as antimicrobial therapeutics. Plectasin is a recently discovered HDP active against Gram-positive bacteria with the human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) being highly susceptible and the food borne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) being less sensitive. In the present study we aimed to use transposon mutagenesis to determine the genetic basis for S. aureus and L. monocytogenes susceptibility to plectasin.
In order to identify genes that provide susceptibility to plectasin we constructed bacterial transposon mutant libraries of S. aureus NCTC8325-4 and L. monocytogenes 4446 and screened for increased resistance to the peptide. No resistant mutants arose when L. monocytogenes was screened on plates containing 5 and 10 fold Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of plectasin. However, in S. aureus, four mutants with insertion in the heme response regulator (hssR) were 2-4 fold more resistant to plectasin as compared to the wild type. The hssR mutation also enhanced resistance to the plectasin-like defensin eurocin, but not to other classes of HDPs or to other stressors tested. Addition of plectasin did not influence the expression of hssR or hrtA, a gene regulated by HssR. The genome of L. monocytogenes LO28 encodes a putative HssR homologue, RR23 (in L. monocytogenes EGD-e lmo2583) with 48% identity to the S. aureus HssR, but a mutation in the rr23 gene did not change the susceptibility of L. monocytogenes to plectasin.
S. aureus HssR, but not the homologue RR23 from L. monocytogenes, provides susceptibility to the defensins plectasin and eurocin. Our data suggest that a functional difference between response regulators HssR and RR23 is responsible for the difference in plectasin susceptibility observed between S. aureus and L. monocytogenes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The two-component system CesRK of Listeria monocytogenes responds to cell wall-acting antibiotics. We show here that CesRK controls the transcription of several cell envelope-related genes. The CesRK-dependent induction of these genes may be viewed as an attempt by L. monocytogenes to protect itself against the damaging effects of cell wall-acting antibiotics.
Journal of bacteriology 08/2008; 190(13):4772-6. · 2.69 Impact Factor