Doyle, M., Feuerbaum, E.-A., Fox, Keith R., Hinds, J., Thurston, D. E. and Taylor, P. W.
Response of Staphylococcus aureus to subinhibitory concentrations of a sequence-selective, DNA minor groove cross-linking pyrrolobenzodiazepine dimer
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 64, (5), . (doi:10.1093/jac/dkp325).
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Objectives ELB-21 is a pyrrolo[2,1-c][1,4]benzodiazepine dimer with potent antistaphylococcal activity; it binds covalently to guanine residues on opposing strands of duplex DNA, interfering with regulatory proteins and transcription elongation in a sequence-selective manner. Transcriptional and proteomic alterations induced by exposure of Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolate EMRSA-16 to ELB-21 were determined in order to define more precisely the bactericidal mechanism of the drug.
Methods DNase I footprinting was used to identify high-affinity DNA binding sites. Microarrays and gel electrophoresis were used to assess the ELB-21-induced phenotype.
Results High-affinity interstrand binding sites in which guanine residues were separated by 4 bp, and also some intrastrand cross-linking sites of variable length were identified. Exposure of EMRSA-16 to 0.015 mg/L ELB-21 elicited a 2-fold or greater up-regulation of 168 genes in logarithmic phase and 181 genes in stationary phase; the majority of genes affected were associated with resident prophages ?Sa2 and ?Sa3, pathogenicity island SaPI4 and DNA damage repair. ELB-21 induced a marked increase in the number of viable phage particles in culture supernatants. The expression of only a limited number of genes showed a >50% reduction. Sixteen extracellular and four intracellular proteins were differentially expressed during logarithmic and stationary phases, including RecA, proteins associated with staphylococcal pathogenesis (IsaA, CspA), cell division and wall synthesis.
Conclusions ELB-21 kills S. aureus by forming multiple interstrand and intrastrand DNA cross-links, resulting in induction of the DNA damage response, derepression of resident prophages and modulation of a limited number of genes involved with cell wall synthesis.
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