[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The balanced synthesis of membrane phospholipids, fatty acids and cell wall constituents is a vital facet of bacterial physiology, but there is little known about the biochemical control points that coordinate these activities in Gram-positive bacteria. In Escherichia coli, the glycerol-phosphate acyltransferase (PlsB) plays a key role in coordinating fatty acid and phospholipid synthesis, but pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus have a different acyltransferase (PlsY), and the headgroup of the major membrane phospholipid, phosphatidylglycerol (PtdGro), is used as a precursor for lipoteichoic acid synthesis.
The PlsY acyltransferase in S. aureus was switched off by depriving strain PDJ28 (DeltagpsA) of the required glycerol supplement. Removal of glycerol from the growth medium led to the rapid cessation of phospholipid synthesis. However, the continued utilization of the headgroup caused a reduction in PtdGro coupled with the accumulation of CDP-diacylglycerol and phosphatidic acid. PtdGro was further decreased by its stimulated conversion to cardiolipin. Although acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) and malonyl-CoA accumulated, fatty acid synthesis continued at a reduced level leading to the intracellular accumulation of unusually long-chain free fatty acids.
The cessation of new phospholipid synthesis led to an imbalance in membrane compositional homeostasis. PtdGro biosynthesis was not coupled to headgroup turnover leading to the accumulation of pathway intermediates. The synthesis of cardiolipin significantly increased revealing a stress response to liberate glycerol-phosphate for PtdGro synthesis. Acyl-ACP accumulation correlated with a decrease in fatty acid synthesis; however, the coupling was not tight leading to the accumulation of intracellular fatty acids.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AFN-1252 is a potent antibiotic against Staphylococcus aureus that targets the enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabI). A thorough screen for AFN-1252 resistant strains was undertaken to identify the spectrum of mechanisms for acquired resistance. A missense mutation in fabI predicted to encode FabI(M99T) was isolated 49 times, and a single isolate was predicted to encode FabI(Y147H). AFN-1252 only bound to the NADPH form of FabI and the close interactions between the drug and Met99 and Y147 explained how the mutations would result in resistant enzymes. The clone expressing FabI(Y147H) had a pronounced growth defect that was rescued by exogenous fatty acid supplementation, and the purified protein had less than 5% the enzymatic activity of FabI. FabI(Y147F) was also catalytically defective, but retained its sensitivity to AFN-1252 illustrating the importance of the conserved Tyr147 hydroxyl group in FabI function. The strains expressing FabI(M99T) exhibited normal growth and the biochemical properties of the purified protein were indistinguishable from FabI. The AFN-1252 Kiapp increased from 4 nM in FabI to 69 nM in FabI(M99T) accounting for the increased resistance of the corresponding mutant strain. The low activity of FabI(Y147H) precluded an accurate Ki measurement. The strain expressing FabI(Y147H) was also resistant to triclosan; however, the strain expressing FabI(M99T) was more susceptible. Strains with higher levels of AFN-1252 resistance were not obtained. The AFN-1252 resistant strains remained sensitive to sub-micromolar concentrations of AFN-1252, which blocked growth through inhibition of fatty acid biosynthesis at the FabI step.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Membrane phospholipid synthesis is a vital facet of bacterial physiology. Although the spectrum of phospholipid headgroup structures produced by bacteria is large, the key precursor to all of these molecules is phosphatidic acid (PtdOH). Glycerol-3-phosphate derived from the glycolysis via glycerol-phosphate synthase is the universal source for the glycerol backbone of PtdOH. There are two distinct families of enzymes responsible for the acylation of the 1-position of glycerol-3-phosphate. The PlsB acyltransferase was discovered in Escherichia coli, and homologs are present in many eukaryotes. This protein family primarily uses acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) endproducts of fatty acid synthesis as acyl donors, but may also use acyl-CoA derived from exogenous fatty acids. The second protein family, PlsY, is more widely distributed in bacteria and utilizes the unique acyl donor, acyl-phosphate, which is produced from acyl-ACP by the enzyme PlsX. The acylation of the 2-position is carried out by members of the PlsC protein family. All PlsCs use acyl-ACP as the acyl donor, although the PlsCs of the γ-proteobacteria also may use acyl-CoA. Phospholipid headgroups are precursors in the biosynthesis of other membrane-associated molecules and the diacylglycerol product of these reactions is converted to PtdOH by one of two distinct families of lipid kinases. The central importance of the de novo and recycling pathways to PtdOH in cell physiology suggest that these enzymes are suitable targets for the development of antibacterial therapeutics in Gram-positive pathogens. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Phospholipids and Phospholipid Metabolism.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/2012; · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The skin represents an important barrier for pathogens and is known to produce fatty acids that are toxic toward Gram-positive bacteria. A screen of fatty acids as growth inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus revealed structure-specific antibacterial activity. Fatty acids like oleate (18:1Δ9) were nontoxic, whereas palmitoleate (16:1Δ9) was a potent growth inhibitor. Cells treated with 16:1Δ9 exhibited rapid membrane depolarization, the disruption of all major branches of macromolecular synthesis, and the release of solutes and low-molecular-weight proteins into the medium. Other cytotoxic lipids, such as glycerol ethers, sphingosine, and acyl-amines blocked growth by the same mechanisms. Nontoxic 18:1Δ9 was used for phospholipid synthesis, whereas toxic 16:1Δ9 was not and required elongation to 18:1Δ11 prior to incorporation. However, blocking fatty acid metabolism using inhibitors to prevent acyl-acyl carrier protein formation or glycerol-phosphate acyltransferase activity did not increase the toxicity of 18:1Δ9, indicating that inefficient metabolism did not play a determinant role in fatty acid toxicity. Nontoxic 18:1Δ9 was as toxic as 16:1Δ9 in a strain lacking wall teichoic acids and led to growth arrest and enhanced release of intracellular contents. Thus, wall teichoic acids contribute to the structure-specific antimicrobial effects of unsaturated fatty acids. The ability of poorly metabolized 16:1 isomers to penetrate the cell wall defenses is a weakness that has been exploited by the innate immune system to combat S. aureus.
Journal of bacteriology 07/2012; 194(19):5294-304. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PlsY is the essential first step in membrane phospholipid synthesis of Gram-positive pathogens. PlsY catalyzes the transfer of the fatty acid from acyl-phosphate to the 1-position of glycerol-3-phosphate to form the first intermediate in membrane biogenesis. A series of non-metabolizable, acyl-sulfamate analogs of the acyl-phosphate PlsY substrate were prepared and evaluated as inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus PlsY and for their Gram-positive antibacterial activities. From this series phenyl (8-phenyloctanoyl) sulfamate had the best overall profile, selectively inhibiting S. aureus phospholipid biosynthesis and causing the accumulation of both long-chain fatty acids and acyl-acyl carrier protein intermediates demonstrating that PlsY was the primary cellular target. Bacillus anthracis was unique in being more potently inhibited by long chain acyl-sulfamates than other bacterial species. However, it is shown that Bacillus anthracis PlsY is not more sensitive to the acyl-sulfamates than S. aureus PlsY. Metabolic profiling showed that B. anthracis growth inhibition by the acyl-sulfamates was not specific for lipid synthesis illustrating that the amphipathic acyl-sulfamates can also have off-target effects in Gram-positive bacteria. Nonetheless, this study further advances PlsY as a druggable target for the development of novel antibacterial therapeutics, through the discovery and validation of the probe compound phenyl (8-phenyloctanoyl) sulfamate as a S. aureus PlsY inhibitor.