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PROJECT SUMMARYBacterial multidrug efflux transporters confer resistance to structurally diverse antimicrobials, which is one of themajor causes for clinical treatment failure. Campylobacter jejuni is a major enteric pathogen and has developedvarious mechanisms for antibiotic resistance. Recently, both the World Health Organization and the Centers forDisease Prevention and Control have designated Campylobacter as a ?serious antibiotic resistance threat?. InCampylobacter, the multidrug efflux pump CmeABC, a RND-type efflux system, plays a key role in the resistanceto various antimicrobials and in intestinal colonization by mediating bile resistance. In CmeABC, the threeproteins assemble to form a powerful tripartite machinery, allowing direct efflux of substrates across bothmembranes of the Gram-negative cellular envelope. Every C. jejuni strain harbors the CmeABC. Typically,CmeABC requires to function cooperatively with other resistance mechanisms (such as target mutations) toconfer clinically relevant antibiotic resistance. However, a ?super? resistance-enhancing variant of CmeABC (RE-CmeABC) has recently emerged in clinical isolates of C. jejuni. This variant pump has a distinct CmeB sequenceand is much more potent in conferring multidrug resistance. Additionally, we found that RE-CmeABC isincreasingly prevalent in clinical isolates and mediates exceedingly high-level resistance to fluoroquinolone, aclinically important antibiotic for treating campylobacteriosis. Our preliminary data further suggest the enhancedefflux function of RE-CmeABC is likely due to sequence variations in the Re-CmeB transporter. To begin tounderstand how CmeABC extrudes antimicrobials, we have initiated work to decipher the structural basis ofCmeABC-mediated efflux. Our preliminary crystallization data indicate that CmeB forms a homotrimer, whereindividual protomers bind to and export substrates independently. Based on the solid preliminary data, wepropose in this application to pursue three specific aims to 1) determine the specific mutations in RE-CmeABCthat enhance its efflux function, 2) define the structural basis of CmeB-mediated antibiotic efflux and howsequence polymorphisms affect the structure-function relationship, and 3) determine the impact of Re-CmeABCon Campylobacter fitness in the absence and presence of antibiotic selection pressure. We will use variousbacterial constructs, molecular and genetic tools, in vitro and animal model systems, x-ray crystallography, andsingle-molecule FRET to achieve the goals of the three specific aims. The team of investigators have strong andcomplementary expertise, and are uniquely positioned to conduct the proposed work, which is expected to revealnovel mechanisms used by an RND-type transporter for antibiotic extrusion and enhanced multidrug resistance.This gained knowledge should be transferrable to other bacterial efflux pumps, and the findings may facilitatethe development of new strategies to curtail the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant Campylobacter.

Yu, Edward W; Zhang, Qijing
Iowa State University
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