Bactericidal antibiotics increase hydroxyphenyl fluorescein signal by altering cell morphology.
ABSTRACT: It was recently proposed that for bactericidal antibiotics a common killing mechanism contributes to lethality involving indirect stimulation of hydroxyl radical (OH•) formation. Flow cytometric detection of OH• by hydroxyphenyl fluorescein (HPF) probe oxidation was used to support this hypothesis. Here we show that increased HPF signals in antibiotics-exposed bacterial cells are explained by fluorescence associated with increased cell size, and do not reflect reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration. Independently of antibiotics, increased fluorescence was seen for elongated cells expressing the oxidative insensitive green fluorescent protein (GFP). Although our data question the role of ROS in lethality of antibiotics other research approaches point to important interplays between basic bacterial metabolism and antibiotic susceptibility. To underpin such relationships, methods for detecting bacterial metabolites at a cellular level are needed.
Project description:Growing evidence shows that generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from antibiotic-induced metabolic perturbation contribute to antibiotic lethality. However, our knowledge of the mechanisms by which antibiotic-induced oxidative stress actually kills cells remains elusive. Here, we show that oxidation of dCTP underlies ROS-mediated antibiotic lethality via induction of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Deletion of mazG-encoded 5-OH-dCTP-specific pyrophosphohydrolase potentiates antibiotic killing of stationary-phase mycobacteria, but did not affect antibiotic efficacy in exponentially growing cultures. Critically, the effect of mazG deletion on potentiating antibiotic killing is associated with antibiotic-induced ROS and accumulation of 5-OH-dCTP. Independent lines of evidence presented here indicate that the increased level of DSBs observed in the ?mazG mutant is a dead-end event accounting for enhanced antibiotic killing. Moreover, we provided genetic evidence that 5-OH-dCTP is incorporated into genomic DNA via error-prone DNA polymerase DnaE2 and repair of 5-OH-dC lesions via the endonuclease Nth leads to the generation of lethal DSBs. This work provides a mechanistic view of ROS-mediated antibiotic lethality in stationary phase and may have broad implications not only with respect to antibiotic lethality but also to the mechanism of stress-induced mutagenesis in bacteria.
Project description:Tolerance towards antibiotics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms is recognized as a major cause of therapeutic failure of chronic lung infection in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. This lung infection is characterized by antibiotic-tolerant biofilms in mucus with zones of O2 depletion mainly due to polymorphonuclear leukocytic activity. In contrast to the main types of bactericidal antibiotics, it has not been possible to establish an association between the bactericidal effects of colistin and the production of detectable levels of OH?? on several strains of planktonic P. aeruginosa. Therefore, we propose that production of OH?? may not contribute significantly to the bactericidal activity of colistin on P. aeruginosa biofilm. Thus, we investigated the effect of colistin treatment on biofilm of wild-type PAO1, a catalase-deficient mutant (?katA) and a colistin-resistant CF isolate cultured in microtiter plates in normoxic- or anoxic atmosphere with 1 mM nitrate. The killing of bacteria during colistin treatment was measured by CFU counts, and the OH? formation was measured by 3(')-(p-hydroxylphenyl fluorescein) fluorescein (HPF) fluorescence. Validation of the assay was done by hydrogen peroxide treatment. OH? formation was undetectable in aerobic PAO1 biofilms during 3 h of colistin treatment. Interestingly, we demonstrate increased susceptibility of P. aeruginosa biofilms towards colistin during anaerobic conditions. In fact, the maximum enhancement of killing by anaerobic conditions exceeded 2 logs using 4 mg L(-1) of colistin compared to killing at aerobic conditions.
Project description:Stationary-phase bacteria are important in disease. The ?(s)-regulated general stress response helps them become resistant to disinfectants, but the role of ?(s) in bacterial antibiotic resistance has not been elucidated. Loss of ?(s) rendered stationary-phase Escherichia coli more sensitive to the bactericidal antibiotic gentamicin (Gm), and proteomic analysis suggested involvement of a weakened antioxidant defense. Use of the psfiA genetic reporter, 3'-(p-hydroxyphenyl) fluorescein (HPF) dye, and Amplex Red showed that Gm generated more reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the mutant. HPF measurements can be distorted by cell elongation, but Gm did not affect stationary-phase cell dimensions. Coadministration of the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) decreased drug lethality particularly in the mutant, as did Gm treatment under anaerobic conditions that prevent ROS formation. Greater oxidative stress, due to insufficient quenching of endogenous ROS and/or respiration-linked electron leakage, therefore contributed to the greater sensitivity of the mutant; infection by a uropathogenic strain in mice showed this to be the case also in vivo. Disruption of antioxidant defense by eliminating the quencher proteins, SodA/SodB and KatE/SodA, or the pentose phosphate pathway proteins, Zwf/Gnd and TalA, which provide NADPH for ROS decomposition, also generated greater oxidative stress and killing by Gm. Thus, besides its established mode of action, Gm also kills stationary-phase bacteria by generating oxidative stress, and targeting the antioxidant defense of E. coli can enhance its efficacy. Relevant aspects of the current controversy on the role of ROS in killing by bactericidal drugs of exponential-phase bacteria, which represent a different physiological state, are discussed.
Project description:The rise of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria is a growing concern to global health and is exacerbated by the lack of new antibiotics. To treat already pervasive MDR infections, new classes of antibiotics or antibiotic adjuvants are needed. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to play a role during antibacterial action; however, it is not yet understood whether ROS contribute directly to or are an outcome of bacterial lethality caused by antibiotics. We show that a light-activated nanoparticle, designed to produce tunable flux of specific ROS, superoxide, potentiates the activity of antibiotics in clinical MDR isolates of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Despite the high degree of antibiotic resistance in these isolates, we observed a synergistic interaction between both bactericidal and bacteriostatic antibiotics with varied mechanisms of action and our superoxide-producing nanoparticles in more than 75% of combinations. As a result of this potentiation, the effective antibiotic concentration of the clinical isolates was reduced up to 1000-fold below their respective sensitive/resistant breakpoint. Further, superoxide-generating nanoparticles in combination with ciprofloxacin reduced bacterial load in epithelial cells infected with S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and increased Caenorhabditis elegans survival upon infection with S. enterica serovar Enteriditis, compared to antibiotic alone. This demonstration highlights the ability to engineer superoxide generation to potentiate antibiotic activity and combat highly drug-resistant bacterial pathogens.
Project description:Despite recent advances, the role of ROS in mediating hypertrophic and apoptotic responses in cardiac myocytes elicited by norepinephrine (NE) is rather poorly understood. We demonstrate through our experiments that H9c2 cardiac myoblasts treated with 2 µM NE (hypertrophic dose) generate DCFH-DA positive ROS only for 2h; while those treated with 100 µM NE (apoptotic dose) sustains generation for 48 h, followed by apoptosis. Though the levels of DCFH fluorescence were comparable at early time points in the two treatment sets, its quenching by DPI, catalase and MnTmPyP suggested the existence of a different repertoire of ROS. Both doses of NE also induced moderate levels of H2O2 but with different kinetics. Sustained but intermittent generation of highly reactive species detectable by HPF was seen in both treatment sets but no peroxynitrite was generated in either conditions. Sustained generation of hydroxyl radicals with no appreciable differences were noticed in both treatment sets. Nevertheless, despite similar profile of ROS generation between the two conditions, extensive DNA damage as evident from the increase in 8-OH-dG content, formation of ?-H2AX and PARP cleavage was seen only in cells treated with the higher dose of NE. We therefore conclude that hypertrophic and apoptotic doses of NE generate distinct but comparable repertoire of ROS/RNS leading to two very distinct downstream responses.
Project description:Antibiotics target specific biochemical mechanisms in bacteria. In response to new drugs, pathogenic bacteria rapidly develop resistance. In contrast, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have retained broad spectrum antibacterial potency over millions of years. We present single-cell fluorescence assays that detect reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the Escherichia coli cytoplasm in real time. Within 30 s of permeabilization of the cytoplasmic membrane by the cationic AMP CM15 [combining residues 1-7 of cecropin A (from moth) with residues 2-9 of melittin (bee venom)], three fluorescence signals report oxidative stress in the cytoplasm, apparently involving O2 (-), H2O2, and •OH. Mechanistic studies indicate that active respiration is a prerequisite to the CM15-induced oxidative damage. In anaerobic conditions, signals from ROS are greatly diminished and the minimum inhibitory concentration increases 20-fold. Evidently the natural human AMP LL-37 also induces a burst of ROS. Oxidative stress may prove a significant bacteriostatic mechanism for a variety of cationic AMPs. If so, host organisms may use the local oxygen level to modulate AMP potency.
Project description:Whether antibiotics induce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that contribute to cell death is an important yet controversial topic. Here, we report that lethal attacks from bacterial and viral species also result in ROS production in target cells. Using soxS as an ROS reporter, we found soxS was highly induced in Escherichia coli exposed to various forms of attacks mediated by the type VI secretion system (T6SS), P1vir phage, and polymyxin B. Using a fluorescence ROS probe, we found enhanced ROS levels correlate with induced soxS in E. coli expressing a toxic T6SS antibacterial effector and in E. coli treated with P1vir phage or polymyxin B. We conclude that both contact-dependent and contact-independent interactions with aggressive competing bacterial species and viruses can induce production of ROS in E. coli target cells.
Project description:Persisters are phenotypic variants of normal susceptible bacterial populations that survive prolonged exposure to high doses of antibiotics and are responsible for pertinacious infections and post-treatment relapses. Out of the three antibiotics, Acinetobacter baumannii formed the highest percentage of persister cells against rifampicin followed by amikacin and the least against colistin. Colistin-treated cells formed the high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) whose quenching with bipyridyl and thiourea led to an increased persister population. Curcumin, a polyphenolic pro-oxidant, significantly decreased persistence against colistin. The quenching of ROS generated by curcumin-colistin combination and the use of resveratrol, an anti-oxidant, with colistin increased the persister population, supporting the significance of ROS in decreased persistence against this combination. The down-regulation of repair genes by this combination in comparison to colistin alone supported the modulation of gene expression in response to ROS and their importance in decreased persistence. Increased membrane permeability by colistin, facilitating the penetration of curcumin into cells and resulting in increased ROS and compromised repair compounded by the decreased efflux of colistin by the inhibition of efflux pumps, may be responsible for enhanced lethality and low persistence. Hence, the curcumin-colistin combination can be another option with anti-persister potential for the control of chronic A. baumannii infections.
Project description:Bacterial biofilms contain subpopulations of cells that are dormant and highly tolerant to antibiotics. While dormant, the bacteria must maintain the integrity of macromolecules required for resuscitation. Previously, we showed that hibernation promoting factor (HPF) is essential for protecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa from ribosomal loss during dormancy. In this study, we mapped the genetic components required for hpf expression. Using 5'-RACE and fluorescent protein reporter fusions, we show that hpf is expressed as part of the rpoN operon, but that hpf also has a second promoter (Phpf ) within the rpoN gene. Phpf is active when the cells enter stationary phase, and expression from Phpf is modulated, but not eliminated, in mutant strains impaired in stationary phase transition (?dksA2, ?rpoS and ?relA/?spoT mutants). The results of reporter gene studies and mRNA folding predictions indicated that the 5' end of the hpf mRNA may also influence hpf expression. Mutations that opened or that stabilized the mRNA hairpin loop structures strongly influenced the amount of HPF produced. The results demonstrate that hpf is expressed independently of rpoN, and that hpf regulation includes both transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes, allowing the cells to produce sufficient HPF during stationary phase to maintain viability while dormant.
Project description:When bacterial cells are exposed to increasing concentrations of quinolone-class antibacterials, survival drops, reaches a minimum, and then recovers, sometimes to 100%. Despite decades of study, events underlying this paradoxical high-concentration survival remain obscure. Since reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in antimicrobial lethality, conditions generating paradoxical survival were examined for diminished ROS accumulation. Escherichia coli cultures were treated with various concentrations of nalidixic acid, followed by measurements of survival, rate of protein synthesis, and ROS accumulation. The last measurement used a dye (carboxy-H2DCFDA) that fluoresces in the presence of ROS; fluorescence was assessed by microscopy (individual cells) and flow cytometry (batch cultures). High, nonlethal concentrations of nalidixic acid induced lower levels of ROS than moderate, lethal concentrations. Sublethal doses of exogenous hydrogen peroxide became lethal and eliminated the nalidixic acid-associated paradoxical survival. Thus, quinolone-mediated lesions needed for ROS-executed killing persist at high, nonlethal quinolone concentrations, thereby implicating ROS as a key factor in cell death. Chloramphenicol suppressed nalidixic acid-induced ROS accumulation and blocked lethality, further supporting a role for ROS in killing. Nalidixic acid also inhibited protein synthesis, with extensive inhibition at high concentrations correlating with lower ROS accumulation and paradoxical survival. A catalase deficiency, which elevated ROS levels, overcame the inhibitory effect of chloramphenicol on nalidixic acid-mediated killing, emphasizing the importance of ROS. The data collectively indicate that ROS play a dominant role in the lethal action of narrow-spectrum quinolone-class compounds; a drop in ROS levels accounted for the quinolone tolerance observed at very high concentrations.