The alternative oxidase (AOX), which forms a branch of the mitochondrial respiratory electron transport pathway, functions to sustain electron flux and alleviate reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. In this article, a homologous AOX gene was identified in Ganoderma lucidum. The coding sequence of the AOX gene in G. lucidum contains 1038 nucleotides and encodes a protein of 39.48 kDa. RNA interference (RNAi) was used to study the function of AOX in G. lucidum, and two silenced strains (AOXi6 and AOXi21) were obtained, showing significant decreases of approximately 60 and 50 %, respectively, in alternative pathway respiratory efficiency compared to WT. The content of ganoderic acid (GA) in the mutant strains AOXi6 and AOXi21 showed significant increases of approximately 42 and 44 %, respectively, compared to WT. Elevated contents of intermediate metabolites in GA biosynthesis and elevated transcription levels of corresponding genes were also observed in the mutant strains AOXi6 and AOXi21. In addition, the intracellular ROS content in strains AOXi6 and AOXi21 was significantly increased, by approximately 1.75- and 1.93-fold, respectively, compared with WT. Furthermore, adding N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger, significantly depressed the intracellular ROS content and GA accumulation in AOX-silenced strains. These results indicate that AOX affects GA biosynthesis by regulating intracellular ROS levels. Our research revealed the important role of AOX in the secondary metabolism of G. lucidum.
Carbon monoxide-releasing molecules (CORMs) are a promising class of new antimicrobials, with multiple modes of action that are distinct from those of standard antibiotics. The relentless increase in antimicrobial resistance, exacerbated by a lack of new antibiotics, necessitates a better understanding of how such novel agents act and might be used synergistically with established antibiotics. This work aimed to understand the mechanism(s) underlying synergy between a manganese-based photoactivated carbon monoxide-releasing molecule (PhotoCORM), [Mn(CO)3(tpa-κ3 N)]Br [tpa=tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine], and various classes of antibiotics in their activities towards Escherichia coli EC958, a multi-drug-resistant uropathogen. The title compound acts synergistically with polymyxins [polymyxin B and colistin (polymyxin E)] by damaging the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane. [Mn(CO)3(tpa-κ3 N)]Br also potentiates the action of doxycycline, resulting in reduced expression of tetA, which encodes a tetracycline efflux pump. We show that, like tetracyclines, the breakdown products of [Mn(CO)3(tpa-κ3 N)]Br activation chelate iron and trigger an iron starvation response, which we propose to be a further basis for the synergies observed. Conversely, media supplemented with excess iron abrogated the inhibition of growth by doxycycline and the title compound. In conclusion, multiple factors contribute to the ability of this PhotoCORM to increase the efficacy of antibiotics in the polymyxin and tetracycline families. We propose that light-activated carbon monoxide release is not the sole basis of the antimicrobial activities of [Mn(CO)3(tpa-κ3 N)]Br.
Soil bacteria such as pseudomonads are widely studied due to their diverse metabolic capabilities, particularly the ability to degrade both naturally occurring and xenobiotic aromatic compounds. Chemotaxis, the directed movement of cells in response to chemical gradients, is common in motile soil bacteria and the wide range of chemicals detected often mirrors the metabolic diversity observed. Pseudomonas putida F1 is a soil isolate capable of chemotaxis toward, and degradation of, numerous aromatic compounds. We showed that P. putida F1 is capable of degrading members of a class of naturally occurring aromatic compounds known as hydroxycinnamic acids, which are components of lignin and are ubiquitous in the soil environment. We also demonstrated the ability of P. putida F1 to sense three hydroxycinnamic acids: p-coumaric, caffeic and ferulic acids. The chemotaxis response to hydroxycinnamic acids was induced during growth in the presence of hydroxycinnamic acids and was negatively regulated by HcaR, the repressor of the hydroxycinnamic acid catabolic genes. Chemotaxis to the three hydroxycinnamic acids was dependent on catabolism, as a mutant lacking the gene encoding feruloyl-CoA synthetase (Fcs), which catalyzes the first step in hydroxycinnamic acid degradation, was unable to respond chemotactically toward p-coumaric, caffeic, or ferulic acids. We tested whether an energy taxis mutant could detect hydroxycinnamic acids and determined that hydroxycinnamic acid sensing is mediated by the energy taxis receptor Aer2.
Daptomycin is a lipopeptide antibiotic with activity against Gram-positive bacteria. We showed previously that Staphylococcus aureus can survive daptomycin exposure by releasing membrane phospholipids that inactivate the antibiotic. To determine whether other pathogens possess this defence mechanism, phospholipid release and daptomycin activity were measured after incubation of Staphylococcus epidermidis, group A or B streptococci, Streptococcus gordonii or Enterococcus faecalis with the antibiotic. All bacteria released phospholipids in response to daptomycin, which resulted in at least partial inactivation of the antibiotic. However, E. faecalis showed the highest levels of lipid release and daptomycin inactivation. As shown previously for S. aureus, phospholipid release by E. faecalis was inhibited by the lipid biosynthesis inhibitor platensimycin. In conclusion, several pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria, including E. faecalis, inactivate daptomycin by releasing phospholipids, which may contribute to the failure of daptomycin to resolve infections caused by these pathogens.
We investigated the co-catabolism of carbohydrate mixtures in Bacillus megaterium QM B1551 using a 13C-assisted metabolomics profiling approach. Specifically, we monitored the ability of B. megaterium to achieve the simultaneous catabolism of glucose and a common disaccharide – cellobiose, maltose, or sucrose. Growth experiments indicated that each disaccharide alone can serve as a sole carbon source for B. megaterium, in accordance with the genetic analysis of this bacterium, which predicted diverse metabolic capabilities. However, following growth on 13C-labelled glucose and each unlabelled disaccharide, the labelling patterns of the intracellular metabolites in glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway revealed a hierarchy in disaccharide catabolism: (i) complete inhibition of cellobiose catabolism, (ii) minimal catabolism of maltose and (iii) unbiased catabolism of sucrose. The labelling of amino acids confirmed this selective assimilation of each substrate in biomass precursors. This study highlights the fact that B. megaterium exhibits a mixed-carbohydrate utilization that is different from that of B. subtilis, the most studied model Bacillus species.