The primary mechanism of action of the antibiotic dihydrostreptomycin is binding to and modifying the function of the bacterial ribosome, thus leading to decreased and aberrant translation of proteins; however, the routes by which it enters the bacterial cell are largely unknown. The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance, MscL, is found in the vast majority of bacterial species, where it serves as an emergency release valve rescuing the cell from sudden decreases in external osmolarity. While it is known that MscL expression increases the potency of dihydrostreptomycin, it has remained unclear if this effect is due to a direct interaction. Here, we use a combination of genetic screening, MD simulations, and biochemical and mutational approaches to determine if dihydrostreptomycin directly interacts with MscL. Our data strongly suggest that dihydrostreptomycin binds to a specific site on MscL and modifies its conformation, thus allowing the passage of K+ and glutamate out of, and dihydrostreptomycin into, the cell.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)