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Effect of vancomycin on the proteome of the multiresistant Enterococcus faecium SU18 strain

Ramos, Sónia, Chafsey, Ingrid, Silva, Nuno, Hébraud, Michel, Santos, Hugo, Capelo-Martinez, José-Luis, Poeta, Patrícia, Igrejas, Gilberto
Journal of proteomics 2015 v.113 pp. 378-387
Enterococcus faecium, antibiotic resistance, bacteria, cell walls, dipeptidases, drugs, energy metabolism, gene expression regulation, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, glycopeptides, pathogens, protein synthesis, proteins, proteome, proteomics, triose-phosphate isomerase, vancomycin
Enterococci are not highly pathogenic bacteria, but the incidence of vancomycin resistance among clinical isolates of this microbial group is steadily increasing, posing a threat to public health. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci are currently some of the most recalcitrant hospital-associated pathogens against which new therapies are urgently needed. To understand the molecular mechanisms of bacterial resistance to glycopeptides, we obtained proteomic profiles of the vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium SU18 strain treated with and without vancomycin. Fourteen proteins were differentially expressed in SU18, seven of which were up-regulated and seven down-regulated. Proteins involved in the vancomycin resistance mechanism, such as the VanA protein, VanA ligase, VanR and D-Ala-D-Ala dipeptidase, were up-regulated in the presence of vancomycin, while metabolism-related proteins, such as triosephosphate isomerase, guanine monophosphate synthase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were down-regulated. Overall the compensatory response of SU18 to antibiotics is to alter expression of proteins related to antibiotic resistance, cell wall formation and energy metabolism. Some of the differentially expressed proteins might enhance antimicrobial activity and are now being investigated as potential therapeutic drug targets in other pathogenic bacteria.This study highlights the power of proteomics in the study of differential protein expression in a multiresistant Enterococcus faecium strain when subjected to vancomycin stress.