5 years ago

Cell Wall Remodeling by a Synthetic Analog Reveals Metabolic Adaptation in Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci

Cell Wall Remodeling by a Synthetic Analog Reveals Metabolic Adaptation in Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci
Sean E. Pidgeon, Marcos M. Pires
Drug-resistant bacterial infections threaten to overburden our healthcare system and disrupt modern medicine. A large class of potent antibiotics, including vancomycin, operate by interfering with bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) evade the blockage of cell wall biosynthesis by altering cell wall precursors, rendering them drug insensitive. Herein, we reveal the phenotypic plasticity and cell wall remodeling of VRE in response to vancomycin in live bacterial cells via a metabolic probe. A synthetic cell wall analog was designed and constructed to monitor cell wall structural alterations. Our results demonstrate that the biosynthetic pathway for vancomycin-resistant precursors can be hijacked by synthetic analogs to track the kinetics of phenotype induction. In addition, we leveraged this probe to interrogate the response of VRE cells to vancomycin analogs and a series of cell wall-targeted antibiotics. Finally, we describe a proof-of-principle strategy to visually inspect drug resistance induction. Based on our findings, we anticipate that our metabolic probe will play an important role in further elucidating the interplay among the enzymes involved in the VRE biosynthetic rewiring.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.7b00412

DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00412

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