Berberine hydrochloride reduces staphyloxanthin synthesis by inhibiting fni genes in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Mol Biol Rep. 2024 Jun 14;51(1):761. doi: 10.1007/s11033-024-09698-w.


BACKGROUND: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) poses a great health threat to humans. Looking for compounds that could reduce the resistance of S. aureus towards methicillin is an effective way to alleviate the antimicrobial resistance crisis.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), Time-killing growth curve, staphyloxanthin and penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) were detected. A quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to measure the effect of BBH on the gene transcription profiles of MRSA. The MIC of MRSA-ST59-t437 towards oxacillin was 8 µg/ml, and MBC was 128 µg/ml. After adding a sub-inhibitory concentration of BBH, the MIC and MBC of MRSA-ST59-t478 towards oxacillin went down to 0.125 and 32 µg/ml respectively. The amount of PBP2a and staphyloxanthin were reduced after treatment with BBH. Moreover, the transcription levels of sarA, mecA and fni genes were downregulated.

CONCLUSIONS: It is for the first time reported that BBH could inhibit staphyloxanthin synthesis by inhibiting fni gene. Moreover, fni might be the target gene of sarA, and there might be another regulatory pathway to inhibit staphyloxanthin biosynthesis. BBH could effectively reduce the methicillin resistance of MRSA-ST59-t437 by downregulating fni, sarA and mecA genes.

PMID:38874884 | DOI:10.1007/s11033-024-09698-w