Since the discovery of penicillin in the first half of the last century, antibiotics have become the pillars of modern medicine for fighting bacterial infections. However, pathogens resistant to antibiotic treatment have increased in recent decades, and efforts to discover new antibiotics have decreased. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat bacterial infections successfully, and we look forward to more significant efforts from both governments and the scientific community to research new antibacterial drugs. This perspective article highlights the high potential of bacterial transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulators as targets for developing new drugs. We highlight some recent advances in the search for new compounds that inhibit their biological activity and, as such, appear very promising for treating bacterial infections.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a concerning global threat that, if not addressed, could lead to increases in morbidity and mortality, coupled with societal and financial burdens. The emergence of AMR bacteria can be attributed, in part, to the decreased development of new antibiotics, increased misuse and overuse of existing antibiotics, and inadequate treatment options for biofilms formed during bacterial infections. Biofilms are complex microbiomes enshrouded in a self-produced extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) that is a primary defense mechanism of the resident microorganisms against antimicrobial agents and the host immune system. In addition to the physical protective EPS barrier, biofilm-resident bacteria exhibit tolerance mechanisms enabling persistence and the establishment of recurrent infections. As current antibiotics and therapeutics are becoming less effective in combating AMR, new innovative technologies are needed to address the growing AMR threat. This perspective article highlights such a product, CMTX-101, a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets a universal component of bacterial biofilms, leading to pathogen-agnostic rapid biofilm collapse and engaging three modes of action—the sensitization of bacteria to antibiotics, host immune enablement, and the suppression of site-specific tissue inflammation. CMTX-101 is a new tool used to enhance the effectiveness of existing, relatively inexpensive first-line antibiotics to fight infections while promoting antimicrobial stewardship.
Alteration of antibiotic binding sites through modification of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is a common form of resistance to ribosome-targeting antibiotics. The rRNA-modifying enzyme Cfr methylates an adenosine nucleotide within the peptidyl transferase center, resulting in the C-8 methylation of A2503 (m8A2503). Acquisition of cfr results in resistance to eight classes of ribosome-targeting antibiotics. Despite the prevalence of this resistance mechanism, it is poorly understood whether and how bacteria modulate Cfr methylation to adapt to antibiotic pressure. Moreover, direct evidence for how m8A2503 alters antibiotic binding sites within the ribosome is lacking. In this study, we performed directed evolution of Cfr under antibiotic selection to generate Cfr variants that confer increased resistance by enhancing methylation of A2503 in cells. Increased rRNA methylation is achieved by improved expression and stability of Cfr through transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms, which may be exploited by pathogens under antibiotic stress as suggested by natural isolates. Using a variant that achieves near-stoichiometric methylation of rRNA, we determined a 2.2 Å cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Cfr-modified ribosome. Our structure reveals the molecular basis for broad resistance to antibiotics and will inform the design of new antibiotics that overcome resistance mediated by Cfr.
Overconsumption of antibiotics in hospitals has led to policy implementation, including the control of antibiotic prescriptions. The impact of these policies on the evolution of antimicrobial resistance remains uncertain. In this work, we review the possible limits of such policies and focus on the need for a more efficient approach. Establishing a causal relationship between the introduction of new antibiotics and the emergence of new resistance mechanisms is difficult. Several studies have demonstrated that many resistance mechanisms existed before the discovery of antibiotics. Overconsumption of antibiotics has worsened the phenomenon of resistance. Antibiotics are responsible for intestinal dysbiosis, which is suspected of being the source of bacterial resistance. The complexity of the intestinal microbiota composition, the impact of the pharmacokinetic properties of antibiotics, and the multiplicity of other factors involved in the acquisition and emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms, lead us to think that de-escalation, in the absence of studies proving its effectiveness, is not the solution to limiting the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms. More studies are needed to clarify the ecological risk caused by different antibiotic classes. In the meantime, we need to concentrate our efforts on limiting antibiotic prescriptions to patients who really need it, and work on reducing the duration of these treatments.
SEDS (Shape, Elongation, Division and Sporulation) proteins are widely conserved peptidoglycan (PG) glycosyltransferases that form complexes with class B penicillin-binding proteins (bPBPs, with transpeptidase activity) to synthesize PG during bacterial cell growth and division. Because of their crucial roles in bacterial morphogenesis, SEDS proteins are one of the most promising targets for the development of new antibiotics. However, how SEDS proteins recognize their substrate lipid II, the building block of the PG layer, and polymerize it into glycan strands is still not clear. In this study, we isolated and characterized dominant-negative alleles of FtsW, a SEDS protein critical for septal PG synthesis during bacterial cytokinesis. Interestingly, most of the dominant-negative FtsW mutations reside in extracellular loops that are highly conserved in the SEDS family. Moreover, these mutations are scattered around a central cavity in a modeled FtsW structure, which has been proposed to be the active site of SEDS proteins. Consistent with this, we found that these mutations blocked septal PG synthesis but did not affect FtsW localization to the division site, interaction with its partners nor its substrate lipid II. Taken together, these results suggest that the residues corresponding to the dominant-negative mutations likely constitute the active site of FtsW, which may aid in the design of FtsW inhibitors.
The search for new antibiotics is an urgent problem due to the spread of resistance to existing antibacterial drugs in pathogenic microorganisms. Actinomycetes are producers of a large number of antibiotics used in medicine. Most antibiotics are isolated from actinomycetes of the Streptomyces genus, while rare genera of actinomycetes can be the producers of new antibiotics.The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of the biological substances complex present in aloe juice on the growth stimulation of rare genera of actinomycetes.Material and methods. Objects: samples of sod-podzolic soil and chernozem. The standard method of sowing soil suspensions on oat agar and Gause medium No. 2 was used to isolate actinomycetes. Chemotaxonomic properties were determined using the methods of ascending thin-layer chromatography on a cellulose layer. The generic identity of cultures was determined using Bergey’s manual and materials comparing the composition of cell walls of actinobacteria. DNA PCR with standard 27f and 1492r primers, as well as Sanger sequencing, were performed to study genosystematic features. Antibiotic activity was determined against the test microorganisms: Staphylococcus aureus ИНА 00985 (FDA 209P), Staphylococcus aureus ИНА 00761 (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus ИНА 00762 (УФ- 2), Micrococcus luteus ATCC 9341, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Saccharomyces cerevisiae ИНА 01042.Results. A total of 527 actinomycete cultures were isolated from samples of sod-podzolic soil and chernozem with the addition of aloe juice; their phylogenetic position was determined. The dominant actinomycetes in the studied soil samples are the representatives of the genus Streptomyces. Bacteria of the genus Micromonospora take the second place by the number of isolated cultures. Rare genera of actinomycetes have also been identified: Nonomuraea, Streptosporangium, Nocardia, Actinomadura, Actinocorallia, Pseudonocardia, Amycolatopsis, Saccharomonospora, Saccharopolyspora, Promicromonospora, Kribbella. It was determined that the isolated cultures possess antibiotic activity against test microorganisms.Conclusion. It is advisable to use aloe juice after subjecting the leaves to biostimulation to isolate actinomycetes from the soil and identify their biodiversity.
Actinobacterial natural products showed a critical basis for the discovery of new antibiotics as well as other lead secondary metabolites. Varied environmental and physiological signals touch the antibiotic machinery that faced a serious decline in the last decades. The reason was exposed by genomic sequencing data, which revealed that Actinomycetes harbor a large portion of silent biosynthetic gene clusters in their genomes that encrypt for secondary metabolites. These gene clusters are linked with a great reservoir of yet unknown molecules, and arranging them is considered a major challenge for biotechnology approaches. In the present paper, we discuss the recent strategies that have been taken to augment the yield of secondary metabolites via awakening these cryptic genes in Actinomycetes with emphasis on chemical signaling molecules used to induce the antibiotics biosynthesis. The rationale, types, applications and mechanisms are discussed in detail, to reveal the productive path for the unearthing of new metabolites, covering the literature until the end of 2020.
Due to their unique properties, nano-polyoxometalates (POMs) can be alternative chemotherapeutic agents instrumental in designing new antibiotics. In this research, we synthesized and characterized “smart” nanocompounds and validated their antibacterial effects in order to formulate and implement potential new drugs. We characterized thirty POMs in terms of antibacterial activity–structure relationship. The antibacterial effects of these compounds are directly dependent upon their structure and the type of bacterial strain tested. We identified three POMs that presented sound antibacterial activity against S. aureus, B. cereus, E. coli, S. enteritidis and P. aeruginosa strains. A newly synthesized compound K6[(VO)SiMo2W9O39]·11H2O (POM 7) presented antibacterial activity only against S. aureus (ATCC 6538P). Twelve POMs exerted antibacterial effects against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains. Only one POM (a cluster derivatized with organometallic fragments) exhibited a stronger effect compared to amoxicillin. New studies in terms of selectivity and specificity are required to clarify these extremely important aspects needed to be considered in drug design.
Actinomycetes are free-living bacteria that are widely distributed and found in several habitats. These bacteria are essential organism in soil system, they contribute to agroindustry as the origin of active compounds. Their economical and biotechnological importance lies in the production of bioactive secondary metabolites including anticancer, insecticides, and antibiotic agents, such Actinomycetes–derived agents have been commonly used in both medical and industrial fields. Mainly, different Actinomycetes species isolated from coastal habitats are found to be novel sources of antibiotics. Thus, further investigating Actinomycetes will provide a better understanding of the physiological features and chemical composition of marine Actinomycetes. It also enables to use of large synthetic libraries of derived molecules (e.g., secondary metabolites) to develop biological drugs to combat advanced bacterial infections. Actinomycetes can produce more powerful biological compounds of medicinal and economic importance; moreover, it can provide insight into new antibiotics against different types of pathogens that cause infection to humans and support human health by overcoming complications caused by pathogenic bacteria and drug resistance. In particular, Actinomycetes of marine origin are a promising source of biomedical microbial products and natural products with an interesting microbial activity against many other pathogenic causing microorganisms. They are diverse in nature and have unique chemical compositions. During the past years, many new anti-microbial agents were discovered and deemed powerful therapeutic agents. The discovery of bioactive compounds continues to increase. However, the underlying potential of Actinomycetes has yet to be found. Therefore, this work conducts a review of the antimicrobial activity of metabolites extracted from marine Actinomycetes.