In previous studies, the oligo-acyl-lysyl (OAK) C12(7)K12 added to cultures of gram-positive bacteria exerted a bacteriostatic activity that was associated with membrane depolarization, even at high concentrations. Here, we report that multidrugresistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, unlike other gram-positive species, have reverted to the sensitive phenotype when exposed to subminimal inhibitory concentrations (sub-MICs) of the OAK, thereby increasing antibiotics potency by up to 3 orders of magnitude. Such chemosensitization was achieved using either cytoplasm or cell-wall targeting antibiotics. Moreover, eventual emergence of resistance to antibiotics was significantly delayed. Using the mouse peritonitis- sepsis model, we show that on single-dose administration of oxacillin and OAK combinations, death induced by a lethal staphylococcal infection was prevented in a synergistic manner, thereby supporting the likelihood for synergism to persist under in vivo conditions. Toward illuminating the molecular basis for these observations, we present data arguing that sub- MIC OAK interactions with the plasma membrane can inhibit proton-dependent signal transduction responsible for expression and export of resistance factors, as demonstrated for -lactamase and PBP2a. Collectively, the data reveal a potentially useful approach for overcoming antibiotic resistance and for preventing resistance from emerging as readily as when bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic alone.-Kaneti, G., Sarig, H., Marjieh, I., Fadia, Z., Mor, A. Simultaneous breakdown of multiple antibiotic resistance mechanisms in S. aureus.
- Host defense peptides
- Membrane potential