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 life-threatening 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, VAtreated
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.