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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Apr;56(4):1714-24. doi: 10.1128/AAC.05558-11. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Deciphering the magainin resistance process of Escherichia coli strains in light of the cytosolic proteome.

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Centro de Análises Proteômicas e Bioquímicas, Pós-Graduação em Ciências Genômicas e Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica de Brasília, Brasília, Distrito Federal 70790-160, Brazil.


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are effective antibiotic agents commonly found in plants, animals, and microorganisms, and they have been suggested as the future of antimicrobial chemotherapies. It is vital to understand the molecular details that define the mechanism of action of resistance to AMPs for a rational planning of the next antibiotic generation and also to shed some light on the complex AMP mechanism of action. Here, the antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli ATCC 8739 to magainin I was evaluated in the cytosolic subproteome. Magainin-resistant strains were selected after 10 subsequent spreads at subinhibitory concentrations of magainin I (37.5 mg · liter⁻¹), and their cytosolic proteomes were further compared to those of magainin-susceptible strains through two-dimensional electrophoresis analysis. As a result, 41 differentially expressed proteins were detected by in silico analysis and further identified by tandem mass spectrometry de novo sequencing. Functional categorization indicated an intense metabolic response mainly in energy and nitrogen uptake, stress response, amino acid conversion, and cell wall thickness. Indeed, data reported here show that resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides possesses a greater molecular complexity than previously supposed, resulting in cell commitment to several metabolic pathways.

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