Antimicrobial garlic-derived diallyl polysulfanes: Interactions with biological thiols in Bacillus subtilis

Miriam Arbach, Taris M. Santana, Hazel Moxham, Ryan Tinson, Awais Anwar, Murree Groom, Christopher Hamilton

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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Diallylpolysulfanes are the key constituents of garlic oils, known to exhibit broad spectrum anticancer and antimicrobial activity. Studies in vitro, and in mammalian cells, have shown they react, via thiol-polysulfane exchange, with their major low molecular weight thiol, glutathione. However, there are no detailed reports of diallylpolysulfane effects on other common thiol metabolites (cysteine and coenzyme A) or major thiol cofactors (e.g. bacillithiol) that many Gram positive bacteria produce instead of glutathione.
Diallylpolysulfanes were individually purified then screened for antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis. Their impact on thiol metabolites (bacillithiol, cysteine, coenzyme A, protein thiols allyl thiols//persulfides) in B. subtilis cultures were analysed, by HPLC.
Diallylpolysulfane bioactivity increased with increasing chain length up to diallyltetrasulfane, but then plateaued. Within two minutes of treating B. subtilis with diallyltrisulfane or diallyltetrasulfane intracellular bacillithiol levels decreased by ~90%. Cysteine and CoA were also affected but to a lesser degree. This was accompanied by the accumulation of allyl thiol and allyl persulfide. A significant level of protein-S-allylation was also detected.
In addition to the major low molecular weight thiol, diallylpolysulfanes can also have an impact on other thiol metabolites and protein thiols.
General significance
This study shows the rapid parallel impact of polysulfanes on different biological thiols inside Bacillus subtilis alongside the concomitant generation of allyl thiols and persulfides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1058
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number6
Early online date16 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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