Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacterium of clinical significance, produces elastase as a predominant exoprotease. Here, we screened a library of chemical compounds currently used for human medication and identified diethylene triamine penta-acetic acid (DTPA, pentetic acid) as an agent that suppresses the production of elastase. Elastase activity found in the prototype P. aeruginosa strain PAO1 was significantly decreased when grown with a concentration as low as 20 -MDTPA. Supplementation with Zn2- or Mn2- ions restored the suppressive effect of DTPA, suggesting that the DTPA-mediated decrease in elastase activity is associated with ion-chelating activity. In DTPA-treated PAO1 cells, transcription of the elastase-encoding lasB gene and levels of the Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS), a molecule that mediates P. aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS), were significantly downregulated, reflecting the potential involvement of the PQS QS system in DTPA-mediated elastase suppression. Biofilm formation was also decreased by DTPA treatment. When A549 alveolar type II-like adenocarcinoma cells were infected with PAO1 cells in the presence of DTPA, A549 cell viability was substantially increased. Furthermore, the intranasal delivery of DTPA to PAO1-infected mice alleviated the pathogenic effects of PAO1 cells in the animals. Together, our results revealed a novel function for a known molecule that may help treat P. aeruginosa airway infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases