A Highly Substituted Ring-Fused 2-Pyridone Compound Targeting PrfA and the Efflux Regulator BrtA in Listeria monocytogenes.

Tükenmez H, Singh P, Sarkar S, Çakır M, Oliveira AH, Lindgren C, Vaitkevicius K, Bonde M, Sauer-Eriksson AE, Almqvist F, Johansson J

MBio 14 (3) e0044923 [2023-06-27; online 2023-04-25]

Listeria monocytogenes is a facultative Gram-positive bacterium that causes listeriosis, a severe foodborne disease. We previously discovered that ring-fused 2-pyridone compounds can decrease virulence factor expression in Listeria by binding and inactivating the PrfA virulence activator. In this study, we tested PS900, a highly substituted 2-pyridone that was recently discovered to be bactericidal to other Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis. We show that PS900 can interact with PrfA and reduce the expression of virulence factors. Unlike previous ring-fused 2-pyridones shown to inactivate PrfA, PS900 had an additional antibacterial activity and was found to potentiate sensitivity toward cholic acid. Two PS900-tolerant mutants able to grow in the presence of PS900 carried mutations in the brtA gene, encoding the BrtA repressor. In wild-type (WT) bacteria, cholic acid binds and inactivates BrtA, thereby alleviating the expression of the multidrug transporter MdrT. Interestingly, we found that PS900 also binds to BrtA and that this interaction causes BrtA to dissociate from its binding site in front of the mdrT gene. In addition, we observed that PS900 potentiated the effect of different osmolytes. We suggest that the increased potency of cholic acid and osmolytes to kill bacteria in the presence of PS900 is due to the ability of the latter to inhibit general efflux, through a yet-unknown mechanism. Our data indicate that thiazolino 2-pyridones constitute an attractive scaffold when designing new types of antibacterial agents. IMPORTANCE Bacteria resistant to one or several antibiotics are a very large problem, threatening not only treatment of infections but also surgery and cancer treatments. Thus, new types of antibacterial drugs are desperately needed. In this work, we show that a new generation of substituted ring-fused 2-pyridones not only inhibit Listeria monocytogenes virulence gene expression, presumably by inactivating the PrfA virulence regulator, but also potentiate the bactericidal effects of cholic acid and different osmolytes. We identified a multidrug repressor as a second target of 2-pyridones. The repressor-2-pyridone interaction displaces the repressor from DNA, thus increasing the expression of a multidrug transporter. In addition, our data suggest that the new class of ring-fused 2-pyridones are efficient efflux inhibitors, possibly explaining why the simultaneous addition of 2-pyridones together with cholic acid or osmolytes is detrimental for the bacterium. This work proves conclusively that 2-pyridones constitute a promising scaffold to build on for future antibacterial drug design.

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NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

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PubMed 37120759

DOI 10.1128/mbio.00449-23

Crossref 10.1128/mbio.00449-23

pmc: PMC10294697

Publications 9.5.0