, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 785-791
Date: 04 Nov 2012

Genome-wide enrichment screening reveals multiple targets and resistance genes for triclosan in Escherichia coli

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Abstract

Triclosan is a widely used biocide effective against different microorganisms. At bactericidal concentrations, triclosan appears to affect multiple targets, while at bacteriostatic concentrations, triclosan targets FabI. The site-specific antibiotic-like mode-of-action and a widespread use of triclosan in household products claimed to possibly induce cross-resistance to other antibiotics. Thus, we set out to define more systematically the genes conferring resistance to triclosan; A genomic library of Escherichia coli strain W3110 was constructed and enriched in a selective medium containing a lethal concentration of triclosan. The genes enabling growth in the presence of triclosan were identified by using a DNA microarray and confirmed consequently by ASKA clones overexpressing the selected 62 candidate genes. Among these, forty-seven genes were further confirmed to enhance the resistance to triclosan; these genes, including the FabI target, were involved in inner or outer membrane synthesis, cell-surface material synthesis, transcriptional activation, sugar phosphotransferase (PTS) systems, various transporter systems, cell division, and ATPase and reductase/dehydrogenase reactions. In particular, overexpression of pgsA, rcsA, or gapC conferred to E. coli cells a similar level of triclosan resistance induced by fabI overexpression. These results indicate that triclosan may have multiple targets other than well-known FabI and that there are several undefined novel mechanisms for the resistance development to triclosan, thus probably inducing cross antibiotic resistance.