Genomic signatures of experimental adaptation to antimicrobial peptides in Staphylococcus aureus

Johnston, P. R., Dobson, A. J. and Rolff, J. (2016) Genomic signatures of experimental adaptation to antimicrobial peptides in Staphylococcus aureus. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 6(6), pp. 1535-1539. (doi: 10.1534/g3.115.023622) (PMID:27172179) (PMCID:PMC4889650)

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The evolution of resistance against antimicrobial peptides has long been considered unlikely due to their mechanism of action, yet experimental selection with antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) results in rapid evolution of resistance in several species of bacteria. Although numerous studies have utilized mutant screens to identify loci that determine AMP susceptibility, there is a dearth of data concerning the genomic changes that accompany experimental evolution of AMP resistance. Using genome resequencing, we analyzed the mutations that arose during experimental evolution of resistance to the cationic AMPs iseganan, melittin, and pexiganan, as well as to a combination of melittin and pexiganan, or to the aminoglycoside antibiotic streptomycin. Analysis of 17 independently replicated Staphylococcus aureus selection lines, including unselected controls, showed that each AMP selected for mutations at distinct loci. We identify mutations in genes involved in the synthesis and maintenance of the cell envelope. These include genes previously identified from mutant screens for AMP resistance, and genes involved in the response to AMPs and cell-wall-active antibiotics. Furthermore, transposon insertion mutants were used to verify that a number of the identified genes are directly involved in determining AMP susceptibility. Strains selected for AMP resistance under controlled experimental evolution displayed consistent AMP-specific mutations in genes that determine AMP susceptibility. This suggests that different routes to evolve resistance are favored within a controlled genetic background.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dobson, Dr Adam
Authors: Johnston, P. R., Dobson, A. J., and Rolff, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
Journal Name:G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Publisher:Genetics Society of America
ISSN (Online):2160-1836
Published Online:04 April 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Johnston et al.
First Published:First published in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics: 6(6): 1535-1539
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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