Can’t Talk Now, I’m Late for Lunch
Presenter: Dr. Ken Cornell, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Boise State University
In the past decade, antibiotic development targeting quorum sensing has become an exciting new approach develop drugs that interrupt microbial communication. Since microbial communication pathways are implicated in biofilm formation and virulence, antibiotics targeting these paths could attenuate microbes and change their ability to resist standard antibiotics by blocking the production of autoinducer signaling molecules. Or will they? We have developed a MTA/SAH nucleosidase knock-out strain of E. coli 0157:H7 (MTN KO) and studied its growth and virulence in vitro as a means to validate this enzyme as a potential antibiotic target, and to explore the mechanism by which anti-MTN antibiotics will exert their effects. The results indicate that interruption of nutrient catabolism is critically altered in the KO strain, and that this may be a significant antibiotic effect that supercedes quorum sensing in importance. In addition, metabolite and proteomic analysis suggest that global alterations in metabolism are occurring that ultimately may explain the observed phenotypes in the KO strain, and suggest new targets that may be useful in the development of combination therapies.