Screening an established natural product library identifies secondary metabolites that potentiate conventional antibiotics.

Screening an established natural product library identifies secondary metabolites that potentiate conventional antibiotics.

ACS Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 18;:

Authors: Mattingly AE, Cox K, Smith R, Melander RJ, Ernst RK, Melander C

Abstract
Health organizations worldwide have warned that we are on the cusp of a "post-antibiotic era," necessitating new approaches to combat antibiotic resistant infections. One such approach is the development of antibiotic adjuvants, which have little or no inherent antibiotic activity at their active concentrations but instead potentiate the activity of antibiotics against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Recently we demonstrated that meridianin D, a natural product originally reported to have activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, possesses the ability to reverse colistin resistance in colistin resistant bacteria. As most natural product screens typically involve screening for only certain activities (anti-cancer, anti-viral, and antimicrobial are typical) we posited that the meridianin D discovery was not unique and there are potentially many natural products that have adjuvant activity. To explore this, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Natural Product Library Set IV was screened for adjuvant activity using four classes of antibiotics (β-lactams, aminoglycosides, macrolides, and polymyxins) against three bacterial pathogens (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Acinetobacter baumannii, and Klebsiella pneumoniae). Sixteen compounds suppressed β-lactam resistance in MRSA, five of which effected a 16-fold reduction in oxacillin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Two natural products effectively suppressed aminoglycoside resistance in both of the Gram-negative species tested, and no hits were observed with macrolides. In contrast, a larger number of natural product adjuvants were identified when screening against colistin-resistant strains of A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae. Nine compounds reduced the colistin MIC to its breakpoint or lower (up to 1024-fold reduction). Clorobiocin, novobiocin, and prodigiosin were most effective, reducing the colistin MIC in K. pneumoniae strain B9 to 2 µg/mL at concentrations as low as 0.625 µM, 2.5 µM, and 1.25 µM, respectively. Restored sensitivity to colistin with these compounds does not appear to coincide with known mechanisms of colistin resistance.

PMID: 32810395 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]