Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2020-02-21; 64.3:

Mechanism-of-Action Classification of Antibiotics by Global Transcriptome Profiling

O'Rourke A, Beyhan S, Choi Y, Morales P, Chan AP, Espinoza JL, Dupont CL, Meyer KJ, Spoering A, Lewis K, Nierman WC, Nelson KE

PMID: 31907190


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an ever-growing public health problem worldwide. The low rate of antibiotic discovery coupled with the rapid spread of drug-resistant bacterial pathogens is causing a global health crisis. To facilitate the drug discovery processes, we present a large-scale study of reference antibiotic challenge bacterial transcriptome profiles, which included 37 antibiotics across 6 mechanisms of actions (MOAs) and provide an economical approach to aid in antimicrobial dereplication in the discovery process. We demonstrate that classical MOAs can be sorted based upon the magnitude of gene expression profiles despite some overlap in the secondary effects of antibiotic exposures across MOAs. Additionally, using gene subsets, we were able to subdivide broad MOA classes into subMOAs. Furthermore, we provide a biomarker gene set that can be used to classify most antimicrobial challenges according to their canonical MOA. We also demonstrate the ability of this rapid MOA diagnostic tool to predict and classify the expression profiles of pure compounds and crude extracts to their expression profile-associated MOA class.