Pyomelanin is a reddish-brown pigment that provides bacteria and fungi protection from oxidative stress, and is reported to contribute to infection persistence. Production of this pigment can be inhibited by the anti-virulence agent 2-(2-nitro-4-trifluoromethylbenzoyl)-1,3- cyclohexanedione (NTBC). The Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolate DKN343 exhibited high levels of resistance to NTBC, and the mechanism of pyomelanin production in this strain was uncharacterized. We determined that pyomelanin production in the clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate DKN343 was due to a loss of function in homogentisate 1,2- dioxygenase (HmgA). Several potential resistance mechanisms were investigated, and the MexAB-OprM efflux pump is required for resistance to NTBC. DKN343 has a frameshift mutation in NalC, which is a known indirect repressor of the mexAB-oprM operon. This frameshift mutation may contribute to the increased resistance of DKN343 to NTBC. Additional studies investigating the prevalence of resistance in pyomelanogenic microbes are necessary to determine the future applications of NTBC as an anti-virulence therapy.
Ketelboeter LM, Bardy SL (2017) Characterization of 2-(2-nitro-4- trifluoromethylbenzoyl)-1,3-cyclohexanedione resistance in pyomelanogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa DKN343. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0178084. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0178084