Antibacterial Properties of an Oligo-Acyl-Lysyl Hexamer Targeting Gram-Negative Species Academic Article uri icon

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  • ABSTRACTToward developing new tools for fighting resistance to antibiotics, we investigated the antibacterial properties of a new decanoyl-based oligo-acyl-lysyl (OAK) hexamer, aminododecanoyl-lysyl-[aminodecanoyl-lysyl]512-5α10). The OAK exhibited preferential activity against Gram-negative bacteria (GNB), as determined using 36 strains, including diverse species, with an MIC90of 6.2 μM. The OAK's bactericidal mode of action was associated with rapid membrane depolarization and cell permeabilization, suggesting that the inner membrane was the primary target, whereas the observed binding affinity to lipoteichoic acid suggested that inefficacy against Gram-positive species resulted from a cell wall interaction preventing α12-5α10from reaching internal targets. Interestingly, perturbation of the inner membrane structure and function was preserved at sub-MIC values. This prompted us to assess the OAK's effect on the proton motive force-dependent efflux pump AcrAB-TolC, implicated in the low sensitivity of GNB to various antibiotics, including erythromycin. We found that under sub-MIC conditions, wild-typeEscherichia coliwas significantly more sensitive to erythromycin (the MIC dropped by >10-fold), unlike itsacr-deletion mutant. Collectively, the data suggest a useful approach for treating GNB infections through overcoming antibiotic efflux.


  • Zaknoon, Fadia
  • Goldberg, Keren
  • Sarig, Hadar
  • Epand, Raquel F
  • Epand, Richard
  • Mor, Amram

publication date

  • September 2012

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