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1.  Systematic Approach to Optimizing Specifically Targeted Antimicrobial Peptides against Streptococcus mutans▿  
Previously we reported a novel strategy of “targeted killing” through the design of narrow-spectrum molecules known as specifically targeted antimicrobial peptides (STAMPs) (R. Eckert et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 50:3651-3657, 2006; R. Eckert et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 50:1480-1488, 2006). Construction of these molecules requires the identification and the subsequent utilization of two conjoined yet functionally independent peptide components: the targeting and killing regions. In this study, we sought to design and synthesize a large number of STAMPs targeting Streptococcus mutans, the primary etiologic agent of human dental caries, in order to identify candidate peptides with increased killing speed and selectivity compared with their unmodified precursor antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). We hypothesized that a combinatorial approach, utilizing a set number of AMP, targeting, and linker regions, would be an effective method for the identification of STAMPs with the desired level of activity. STAMPs composed of the Sm6 S. mutans binding peptide and the PL-135 AMP displayed selectivity at MICs after incubation for 18 to 24 h. A STAMP where PL-135 was replaced by the B-33 killing domain exhibited both selectivity and rapid killing within 1 min of exposure and displayed activity against multispecies biofilms grown in the presence of saliva. These results suggest that potent and selective STAMP molecules can be designed and improved via a tunable “building-block” approach.
PMCID: PMC2863653  PMID: 20211885
2.  An RpoB Mutation Confers Dual Heteroresistance to Daptomycin and Vancomycin in Staphylococcus aureus ▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(12):5222-5233.
We have previously reported the establishment of a Staphylococcus aureus laboratory strain, 10*3d1, having reduced susceptibility to daptomycin and heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA) phenotype. The strain was generated in vitro by serial daptomycin selection (Camargo, I. L., H. M. Neoh, L. Cui, and K. Hiramatsu, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 52:4289-4299, 2008). Here we explored the genetic mechanism of resistance in the strain by whole-genome sequencing and by producing gene-replaced strains. By genome comparison between 10*3d1 and its parent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain N315ΔIP, we identified five nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). One of the five mutations was found in the rpoB gene encoding the RNA polymerase β subunit. The mutation at nucleotide position 1862 substituted the 621st alanine by glutamic acid. The replacement of the intact rpoB with the mutated rpoB, designated rpoB(A621E), conferred N315ΔIP with the phenotypes of reduced susceptibility to daptomycin and hetero-VISA. The rpoB(A621E)-mediated resistance conversion was accompanied by a thickened cell wall and reduction of the cell surface negative charge. Being consistent with these phenotypic changes, microarray data showed that the expression of the dlt operon, which increases the cell surface positive charge, was enhanced in the rpoB(A621E) mutant. Other remarkable findings of microarray analysis of the rpoB(A621E) mutant included repression of metabolic pathways of purine, pyrimidine, arginine, the urea cycle, and the lac operon, enhancement of the biosynthetic pathway of vitamin B2, K1, and K2, and cell wall metabolism. Finally, mutations identified in rplV and rplC, encoding 50S ribosomal proteins L22 and L3, respectively, were found to be associated with the slow growth, but not with the phenotype of decreased susceptibility to vancomycin and daptomycin, of 10*3d1.
PMCID: PMC2981288  PMID: 20837752
3.  A mecA-Negative Strain of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus with High-Level β-Lactam Resistance Contains Mutations in Three Genes▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(11):4900-4902.
We previously generated a ceftobiprole-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain after high inoculum serial passage of a mecA-negative variant of strain COL (R. Banerjee, M. Gretes, L. Basuino, N. Strynadka, and H. F. Chambers, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 52:2089-2096, 2008). Genome resequencing of this strain, CRB, revealed that it differs from its parent by five single-nucleotide polymorphisms in three genes, specifically, those encoding PBP4, a low-molecular-weight penicillin-binding protein, GdpP, a predicted signaling protein, and AcrB, a cation multidrug efflux transporter. CRB displayed resistance to a variety of β-lactams but was hypersusceptible to cefoxitin.
PMCID: PMC2976154  PMID: 20805396
7.  ISCR Elements Are Key Players in IncA/C Plasmid Evolution 
PMCID: PMC2916298  PMID: 20634542
16.  Activity of Pyrazinamide in the Guinea Pig Model of Tuberculosis  
PMCID: PMC2981291  PMID: 21075978
18.  Gamma Interferon Supplementation for Melioidosis 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(10):4520-4521.
PMCID: PMC2944586  PMID: 20852188
21.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Sulfamethoxazole Susceptibility 
PMCID: PMC2876382  PMID: 20479209

Results 1-25 (861)