Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a pathogenic bacterium that causes severe diseases in humans. For decades, MRSA has acquired substantial resistance against conventional antibiotics through regulatory adaptation, thereby posing a challenge for treating MRSA infection. One of the emerging strategies to combat MRSA is the combinatory use of antibacterial agents. Based on the dramatic change in phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) composition of MRSA in previous results, this study investigated branched-chain amino acid derivatives (precursors of fatty acid synthesis of cell membrane) and discovered the antimicrobial potency of D-norvaline. The compound, which can act synergistically with oxacillin, is among the three leucine-tRNA synthetase inhibitors with high potency to inhibit MRSA cell growth and biofilm formation. PLFA analysis and membrane properties revealed that D-norvaline decreased the overall amount of PLFA, increasing the fluidity and decreasing the hydrophobicity of the bacterial cell membrane. Additionally, we observed genetic differences to explore the response to D-norvaline. Furthermore, deletion mutants and clinically isolated MRSA strains were treated with D-norvaline. The study revealed that D-norvaline, with low concentrations of oxacillin, was effective in killing several MRSA strains. In summary, our findings provide a new combination of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor D-norvaline and oxacillin, which is effective against MRSA.
- aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor
- drug combination therapy