Chemical Induction of Aminoglycoside Uptake Overcomes Antibiotic Tolerance and Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus

Lauren C. Radlinski, Sarah E. Rowe, Robert Brzozowski, Alec D. Wilkinson, Rennica Huang, Prahathees Eswara, Brian P. Conlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aminoglycoside antibiotics require proton motive force (PMF) for bacterial internalization. In non-respiring populations, PMF drops below the level required for drug influx, limiting the utility of aminoglycosides against strict and facultative anaerobes. We recently demonstrated that rhamnolipids (RLs), biosurfactant molecules produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, potentiate aminoglycoside activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Here, we demonstrate that RLs induce PMF-independent aminoglycoside uptake to restore sensitivity to otherwise tolerant persister, biofilm, small colony variant, and anaerobic populations of S. aureus. Furthermore, we show that this approach represses the rise of resistance, restores sensitivity to highly resistant clinical isolates, and is effective against other Gram-positive pathogens. Finally, while other membrane-acting agents can synergize with aminoglycosides, induction of PMF-independent uptake is uncommon, and distinct to RLs among several compounds tested. In all, small-molecule induction of PMF-independent aminoglycoside uptake circumvents phenotypic tolerance, overcomes genotypic resistance, and expands the utility of aminoglycosides against intrinsically recalcitrant bacterial populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1364.e4
JournalCell Chemical Biology
Volume26
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 17 2019

Keywords

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • aminoglycosides
  • antibiotics
  • biofilm
  • persisters
  • resistance
  • rhamnolipids
  • tolerance

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