Daptomycin – A New Twist To An Old Tale

Susan J. TzotzosDaptomycin is no newcomer to the stage of antibiotics, yet its mechanism of action has been a source of controversy since its discovery over 30 years ago. Exciting results of a collaborative study between scientists in The Netherlands, Germany and the UK reported recently in PNAS (24th October), have cleared this controversy, shedding new light onto how daptamycin kills bacteria and providing a fresh perspective of the model of the cell membrane applied to antimicrobial interaction. Using the model organism Bacillus subtilis in a comprehensive mode-of-action study applying fluorescent light microscopy combined with proteomic and biochemical approaches, these researchers showed that daptomycin perturbs fluid microdomains in bacterial cell membranes, thereby interfering with membrane-bound cell wall and lipid synthesis processes.

Contributed by Susan J. Tzotzos

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