The carbon source influences the efflux pump-mediated antimicrobial resistance in clinically important Gram-negative bacteria

Nicolás A. Villagra, Juan A. Fuentes, Matías R. Jofré, Alejandro A. Hidalgo, Patricia García, Guido C. Mora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Multidrug efflux pumps are proteins known to play an important role in resistance in bacteria. These proteins are located in the inner membrane (IM), together with many other proteins, including inducible permeases that participate in the uptake of non-phosphotransferase system (PTS) carbohydrates (i.e. carbohydrates uptaken by mechanisms other than the PTS). However, lipid bilayer space in the IM is limited. Therefore, we examined whether the overexpression of unrelated IM proteins is able to interfere with the efflux-mediated resistance mechanism, consequently increasing the susceptibility towards different antimicrobial compounds. Methods: We cultured bacteria under different conditions that increase the synthesis of unrelated IM proteins, either by using a non-PTS carbohydrate as the sole carbon source or by artificially overexpressing IM proteins, prior to determining the resistance to different antimicrobial compounds by disc diffusion assays. Results: We observed that efflux-pump-mediated resistance is affected by the carbon source in all the strains tested, exhibiting increased susceptibility when a non-PTS carbohydrate was used as the sole carbon source. Moreover, when we artificially overexpressed an unrelated IM protein, we also observed decreased efflux-mediated resistance. Conclusions: These results strongly suggest that overexpression of IM proteins, by using a non-PTS carbohydrate as the sole carbon source, or by artificially introducing a high number of copies of an unrelated IM protein, competes with the antibiotic efflux systems, thereby decreasing the efflux-mediated resistance to different antimicrobial compounds. This sort of competition arises because of the limited available space in the bacterial IM, or by an unknown mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdkr573
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • Alternative carbon source
  • Antibiotics
  • Permeases
  • Resistance mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology

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