Antibacterial properties of an oligo-acyl-lysyl hexamer targeting gram-negative species

Fadia Zaknoon, Keren Goldberg, Hadar Sarig, Raquel F. Epand, Richard M. Epand, Amram Mor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Toward 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 MIC90 of 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 α12-5α10 from 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-type Escherichia coli was significantly more sensitive to erythromycin (the MIC dropped by > 10-fold), unlike its acr-deletion mutant. Collectively, the data suggest a useful approach for treating GNB infections through overcoming antibiotic efflux.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4827-4832
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Antibacterial properties of an oligo-acyl-lysyl hexamer targeting gram-negative species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this