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J Bacteriol. 1998 Jan;180(1):182-5.

Glycerol monolaurate inhibits induction of vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis.

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  • 1New York University Medical Center, Skirball Institute, New York 10016, USA.


Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a surfactant that has been found to inhibit the post-exponential phase activation of virulence factor production and the induction of beta-lactamase in Staphylococcus aureus. It has been suggested that signal transduction is the most probable target for GML (S. J. Projan, S. Brown-Skrobot, P. M. Schlievert, F. Vandenesch, and R. P. Novick, J. Bacteriol. 176:4204-4209, 1994). We found that GML suppresses growth of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis on plates with vancomycin and blocks the induction of vancomycin resistance, which involves a membrane-associated signal transduction mechanism, either at or before initiation of transcription. Given the surfactant nature of GML and the results of previous experiments, we suggest that GML blocks signal transduction. In contrast, GML has no effect on the induction of erythromycin-inducible macrolide resistance in S. aureus, which does not involve signal transduction.

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