Molecular mechanism of target recognition by Subtilin, a class I Lanthionine antibiotic

Judicaël Parisot, Sarah Carey, E.J. Breukink, W.C. Chan, A. Narbad, B.B. Bonev

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The increasing resistance of human pathogens to conventional antibiotics presents a growing threat to the chemotherapeutic management of infectious diseases. The lanthionine antibiotics, still unused as therapeutic agents, have recently attracted significant scientific interest as models for targeting and management of bacterial infections. We investigated the action of one member of this class, subtilin, which permeabilizes lipid membranes in a lipid II-dependent manner and binds bactoprenyl pyrophosphate, akin to nisin. The role the C and N termini play in target recognition was investigated in vivo and in vitro by using the natural N-terminally succinylated subtilin as well as enzymatically truncated subtilin variants. Fluorescence dequenching experiments show that subtilin induces leakage in membranes in a lipid II-dependent manner and that N-succinylated subtilin is roughly 75-fold less active. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance was used to show that subtilin forms complexes with membrane isoprenyl pyrophosphates. Activity assays in vivo show that the N terminus of subtilin plays a critical role in its activity. Succinylation of the N terminus resulted in a 20-fold decrease in its activity, whereas deletion of N-terminal Trp abolished activity altogether
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)612-618
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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