To obtain therapeutically effective new antibiotics, we first searched for bacterial culture supernatants with antimicrobial activity in vitro and then performed a secondary screening using the silkworm infection model. Through further purification of the in vivo activity, we obtained a compound with a previously uncharacterized structure and named it 'lysocin E'. Lysocin E interacted with menaquinone in the bacterial membrane to achieve its potent bactericidal activity, a mode of action distinct from that of any other known antibiotic, indicating that lysocin E comprises a new class of antibiotic. This is to our knowledge the first report of a direct interaction between a small chemical compound and menaquinone that leads to bacterial killing. Furthermore, lysocin E decreased the mortality of infected mice. To our knowledge, lysocin E is the first compound identified and purified by quantitative measurement of therapeutic effects in an invertebrate infection model that exhibits robust in vivo effects in mammals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology