American Chemical Society
sb9b00358_si_001.pdf (228.01 kB)

Proteolytic Queues at ClpXP Increase Antibiotic Tolerance

Download (228.01 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2020-01-03, 18:03 authored by Heather S. Deter, Alawiah H. Abualrahi, Prajakta Jadhav, Elise K. Schweer, Curtis T. Ogle, Nicholas C. Butzin
Antibiotic tolerance is a widespread phenomenon that renders antibiotic treatments less effective and facilitates antibiotic resistance. Here we explore the role of proteases in antibiotic tolerance, short-term population survival of antibiotics, using queueing theory (i.e., the study of waiting lines), computational models, and a synthetic biology approach. Proteases are key cellular components that degrade proteins and play an important role in a multidrug tolerant subpopulation of cells, called persisters. We found that queueing at the protease ClpXP increases antibiotic tolerance ∼80 and ∼60 fold in an E. coli population treated with ampicillin and ciprofloxacin, respectively. There does not appear to be an effect on antibiotic persistence, which we distinguish from tolerance based on population decay. These results demonstrate that proteolytic queueing is a practical method to probe proteolytic activity in bacterial tolerance and related genes, while limiting the unintended consequences frequently caused by gene knockout and overexpression.