Inhibition of sortase A by chalcone preventsListeria monocytogenesinfection

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Graphical abstractThe critical role of sortase A in gram-positive bacterial pathogenicity makes this protein a good potential target for antimicrobial therapy. In this study, we report for the first time the crystal structure of Listeria monocytogenes sortase A and identify the active sites that mediate its transpeptidase activity. We also used a sortase A (SrtA) enzyme activity inhibition assay, simulation, and isothermal titration calorimetry analysis to discover that chalcone, an agent with little anti-L. monocytogenes activity, could significantly inhibit sortase A activity with an IC50 of 28.41 ± 5.34 μM by occupying the active site of SrtA. The addition of chalcone to a co-culture of L. monocytogenes and Caco-2 cells significantly inhibited bacterial entry into the cells and L. monocytogenes-mediated cytotoxicity. Additionally, chalcone treatment decreased the mortality of infected mice, the bacterial burden in target organs, and the pathological damage to L. monocytogenes-infected mice. In conclusion, these findings suggest that chalcone is a promising candidate for the development of treatment against L. monocytogenes infection.

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