Inhibition of streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B using allicin from garlic.
Microb Pathog. 2016 Feb 18 ;93:166-171. Epub 2016 Feb 18. PMID: 26911644
Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SpeB) is an important virulence factor of group A streptococci (GAS) and inactivation of SpeB results in the significantly decreased virulence of the bacterium. The protein is secreted as an inactive zymogen of 40 KDa (SpeBz) and undergoes proteolytic truncation to result in a 28 KDa mature active protease (SpeBm). In this study the effect of allicin on the proteolytic activity of SpeBm was evaluated using azocasein assay. Allicin neutralized the SpeBm proteolytic activity in a concentration dependent manner (IC50 = 15.71 ± 0.45 μg/ml). The loss of activity was completely reversed by subsequent treatment with a reducing agent, dithiothreitol (DTT; 10 mM final concentration), suggesting that allicin likely inhibits the SpeBm by forming a disulfide linkage with an active thiol group in its active site. This mechanism of action was further confirmed with the fact that DTT did not reverse the SpeBm activity in the presence of E-64, a cysteine protease-specific inhibitor, which works specially by forming a thioether linkage with free sulfhydryl groups in enzymes active site. The MIC of allicin against GAS was found to be 32 μg/ml. Exposure of GAS culture to allicin (25 μg/ml) inhibited maturation of SpeBz to the SpeBm. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that allicin inhibits the maturation of SpeBz and proteolytic activity of SpeBm and could be a potential therapeuticagent for the treatment of GAS infections.