Background: The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to cause severe infections and the
difficulty of the treatments due to the multiple antibiotic resistance make this bacterium a lifethreatening
human pathogen. This situation necessitates the exploration of novel antimicrobial compounds
with known targets on bacteria. Phenolic acids naturally produced in plants as secondary
metabolites are good candidates for being alternative antimicrobials for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Objective: Investigation of protein profile of Methicillin-Resistant S. Aureus (MRSA) in the presence
of subinhibitory concentrations of phenolic acids.
Methods: MRSA was subjected to subinhibitory concentrations of Vanillic Acid (VA) and 2-Hydroxycinnamic
Acid (2-HCA), separately, and the proteomic analyses were carried out by using
liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.
Results: Both phenolic acids elicited identification of differently expressed proteins that have roles
in DNA replication, repair, RNA processing and transcription, protein synthesis, maintenance of
cell homeostasis, several metabolic reactions in energy, carbohydrate and lipid metabolisms and also
proteins related with the virulence and the pathogenicity of MRSA when compared with the control
group. The numbers of the proteins identified were 444, 375, and 426 for control, VA-treated
MRSA, and 2-HCA-treated MRSA, respectively, from which 256 were shared. While VA treatment
resulted in 149 unidentified MRSA proteins produced in control, 2-HCA treatment resulted
in 126 unidentified proteins. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD016922.
Conclusion: The results obtained from this study might indicate the potential targets on bacteria
and the effective use of phenolic acids in the battle with antibiotic-resistant pathogens.