Opportunistic Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses adhesins (e.g., LecA and LecB lectins, type VI pili and flagella) and iron to invade host cells with the formation of a biofilm, a thick barrier that protects bacteria from drugs and host immune system. Hindering iron uptake and disrupting adhesins' function could be a relevant antipseudomonal strategy. To test this hypothesis, we designed an iron-chelating glycocluster incorporating a tetrahydroxamic acid and α-l-fucose bearing linker to interfere with both iron uptake and the glycan recognition process involving the LecB lectin. Iron depletion led to increased production of the siderophore pyoverdine by P. aeruginosa to counteract the loss of iron uptake, and strong biofilm inhibition was observed not only with the α-l-fucocluster (72%), but also with its α-d-manno (84%), and α-d-gluco (92%) counterparts used as negative controls. This unprecedented finding suggests that both LecB and biofilm inhibition are closely related to the presence of hydroxamic acid groups.
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- structural basis
- nitric oxide
- lectin lecb
- iron uptake