Lipid II is an essential precursor for bacterial cell wall biosynthesis and thereby an important target for various antibiotics. Several lanthionine-containing peptide antibiotics target lipid II with lanthionine-stabilized lipid II binding motifs. Here, we used the biosynthesis system of the lantibiotic nisin to synthesize a two-lipid II binding motifs-containing lantibiotic, termed TL19, which contains the N-terminal lipid II binding motif of nisin and the distinct C-terminal lipid II binding motif of one peptide of the two-component haloduracin (i.e., HalA1). Further characterization demonstrated that (i) TL19 exerts 64-fold stronger antimicrobial activity against Enterococcus faecium than nisin(1-22), which has only one lipid II binding site, and (ii) both the N- and C-terminal domains are essential for the potent antimicrobial activity of TL19, as evidenced by mutagenesis of each single and the double domains. These results show the feasibility of a new approach to synthesize potent lantibiotics with two different lipid II binding motifs to treat specific antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
- lipid II