p-Coumaric acid inhibits the Listeria monocytogenes RecA protein functions and SOS response: An antimicrobial target.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 Oct 1 ;517(4):655-661. Epub 2019 Aug 13. PMID: 31416617
Bacterial RecA plays an important role in the evaluation of antibiotic resistance via stress-induced DNA repair mechanism; SOS response. Accordingly, RecA became an important therapeutic target against antimicrobial resistance. Small molecule inhibitors of RecA may prevent adaptation of antibiotic resistance mutations and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. In our study, we observed that phenolic compound p-Coumaric acid as potent RecA inhibitor. It inhibited RecA driven biochemical activities in vitro such as ssDNA binding, strand exchange, ATP hydrolysis and RecA coprotease activity of E. coli and L. monocytogenes RecA proteins. The mechanism underlying such inhibitory action of p-Coumaric acid involves its ability to interfere with the DNA binding domain of RecA protein. p-Coumaric acid also potentiates the activity of ciprofloxacin by inhibiting drastic cell survival of L. monocytogenes as well as filamentation process; the bacteria defensive mechanism in response to DNA damage. Additionally, it also blocked the ciprofloxacin induced RecA expression leading to suppression of SOS response in L. monocytogenes. These findings revealed that p-Coumaric acid is a potent RecA inhibitor, and can be used as an adjuvant to the existing antibiotics which not only enhance the shelf-life but also slow down the emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.