Cyclic peptides are commonly used as quorum-sensing autoinducers in Gram-positive Firmicutes bacteria. Well-studied examples of such molecules are thiolactone and lactone, used to regulate the expression of a series of virulence genes in the agr system of Staphylococcus aureus and the fsr system of Enterococcus faecalis, respectively. Three cyclodepsipeptides WS9326A,WS9326B and cochinmicin II/III were identified as a result of screening actinomycetes culture extracts for activity against the agr/fsr system. These molecules are already known as receptor antagonists, the first two for tachykinin and the last one for endothelin. WS9326A also inhibited the transcription of pfoA regulated by the VirSR two-component system in Clostridium perfringens. Receptor-binding assays using a fluorescence-labeled autoinducer (FITC-GBAP) showed that WS9326A and WS9326B act as receptor antagonists in this system. In addition, an ex vivo assay showed that WS9326B substantially attenuated the toxicity of S. aureus for human corneal epithelial cells. These results suggest that these three natural cyclodepsipeptides have therapeutic potential for targeting the cyclic peptide-mediated quorum sensing of Gram-positive pathogens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology