Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.4, 1673-1682, 2020
Identification of the natural product paeonol derived from peony bark as an inhibitor of the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium type III secretion system
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is an important zoonotic pathogen in public health and food safety. The type III secretion system (T3SS) encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI) is a sophisticated molecular machine that facilitates active invasion, intracellular replication, and host inflammation. Due to increasing antibiotic resistance, new therapeutic strategies that target the Salmonella T3SS have received considerable attention. In this study, paeonol was identified as an inhibitor of the S. Typhimurium T3SS. Paeonol significantly blocked the translocation of SipA into host cells and suppressed the expression of effector proteins without affecting bacterial growth in the effective concentration range. Additionally, S. Typhimurium-mediated cell injury and invasion levels were significantly reduced after treatment with paeonol, without cytotoxicity. Most importantly, the comprehensive protective effect of paeonol was confirmed in an S. Typhimurium mouse infection model. Preliminary mechanistic studies suggest that paeonol inhibits the expression of effector proteins by reducing the transcription level of the SPI-1 regulatory pathway gene hilA. This work provides proof that paeonol could be used as a potential drug to treat infections caused by Salmonella.