Treating infections with exogenous NO, which shows broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, appears to be effective. Similar to NO biosynthesis, biosynthesis of α-1-acid glycoprotein variant A (AGPa), with a reduced cysteine (Cys149), increases markedly during inflammation and infection. We hypothesized that AGPa is an S-nitrosation target in acute-phase proteins. This study aimed to determine whether S-nitrosated AGPa (SNO-AGPa) may be the first compound of this novel antibacterial class against multidrug-resistant bacteria. AGPa was incubated with RAW264.7 cells activated by lipopolysaccharide and interferon-γ. The antimicrobial effects of SNO-AGPa were determined by measuring the turbidity of the bacterial suspensions in vitro and survival in a murine sepsis model in vivo, respectively. Results indicated that endogenous NO generated by activated RAW264.7 cells caused S-nitrosation of AGPa at Cys149. SNO-AGPa strongly inhibited growth of gram-positive, gram-negative, and multidrug-resistant bacteria and was an extremely potent bacteriostatic compound (IC50: 10-9 to 10-6 M). The antibacterial mechanism of SNO-AGPa involves S-transnitrosation from SNO-AGPa to bacterial cells. Treatment with SNO-AGPa, but not with AGPa, markedly reduced bacterial counts in blood and liver in a mouse sepsis model. The sialyl residues of AGPa seem to suppress the antibacterial activity, since SNO-asialo AGPa was more potent than SNO-AGPa.
- Acute-phase protein
- Nitric oxide
- Post-translational modification