Nat Commun 12 (1) 3577 [2021-06-11; online 2021-06-11]
Target protection proteins confer resistance to the host organism by directly binding to the antibiotic target. One class of such proteins are the antibiotic resistance (ARE) ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins of the F-subtype (ARE-ABCFs), which are widely distributed throughout Gram-positive bacteria and bind the ribosome to alleviate translational inhibition from antibiotics that target the large ribosomal subunit. Here, we present single-particle cryo-EM structures of ARE-ABCF-ribosome complexes from three Gram-positive pathogens: Enterococcus faecalis LsaA, Staphylococcus haemolyticus VgaALC and Listeria monocytogenes VgaL. Supported by extensive mutagenesis analysis, these structures enable a general model for antibiotic resistance mediated by these ARE-ABCFs to be proposed. In this model, ABCF binding to the antibiotic-stalled ribosome mediates antibiotic release via mechanistically diverse long-range conformational relays that converge on a few conserved ribosomal RNA nucleotides located at the peptidyltransferase center. These insights are important for the future development of antibiotics that overcome such target protection resistance mechanisms.