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Affect of (5Z)-4-Bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-Butyl-2(5H)-Furanone on Bacillus Anthracis Metabolism

Christine Endicott1, Thomas K. Wood2, and Ranjan Srivastava1. (1) University of Connecticut, 191 Auditorium Rd., Unit 3222, Storrs, CT 06269, (2) Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 200 Jack E. Brown Building, MS 3122, College Station, TX 77843-3122

Bacillus anthracis is the etiological agent of anthrax. Due to its potential as a weapon for bioterrorism, it has been classified by the CDC as a Category A pathogen, the highest possible priority rating. Recent studies have shown that (5Z)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-butyl-2(5H)-furanone (furanone) is capable of inhibiting B. anthracis virulence [1]. However, the mechanism by which furanone accomplishes this result, as well as its impact on B. anthracis metabolism, are unknown. To begin to address these issues, we monitored the affect on growth rate, glucose uptake rate, and oxygen uptake when B. anthracis was grown in the presence of furanone. Growing the Sterne strain of B. anthracis in R media in the presence of furanone resulted in a 36-fold increase in glucose uptake rate and an 18-fold increase the oxygen uptake rate as compared to cultures without furanone. Remarkably the growth rate was not affected by the presence of furanone, showing a growth rate of approximately 0.65 hr-1 for both experimental and control cultures.

1. Jones, M.B., R. Jani, D. Ren, T.K. Wood, and M.J. Blaser, Inhibition of Bacillus anthracis Growth and Virulence-Gene Expression by Inhibitors of Quorum-Sensing. J Infect Dis, 2005. 191(11): p. 1881-8.