Hydroquinine inhibits the growth of multidrug-resistant pseudomonas aeruginosa via the suppression of the arginine deiminase pathway genes

Sattaporn Weawsiangsang, Nontaporn Rattanachak, Touchkanin Jongjitvimol, Theerasak Jaifoo, Pensri Charoensit, Jarupa Viyoch, Sukunya Ross, Gareth M. Ross, Robert Andrew Baldock, Jirapas Jongjitwimol

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Hydroquinine has antimicrobial potential with demonstrated activity against several bacteria, including multidrug-resistant (MDR) P. aeruginosa reference strains. Despite this, there is limited evidence confirming the antibacterial activity of hydroquinine against clinical isolates and the underlying mechanism of action. Here, we aimed to investigate the antibacterial effect of hydroquinine in clinical P. aeruginosa strains using phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing and synergistic testing. In addition, we examined the potential inhibitory mechanisms against MDR P. aeruginosa isolates using informatic-driven molecular docking analysis in combination with RT-qPCR. We uncovered that hydroquinine inhibits and kills clinical P. aeruginosa at 2.50 mg/mL (MIC) and 5.00 mg/mL (MBC), respectively. Hydroquinine also showed partial synergistic effects with ceftazidime against clinical MDR P. aeruginosa strains. Using SwissDock, we identified potential interactions between arginine deiminase (ADI)-pathway-related proteins and hydroquinine. Furthermore, using RT-qPCR, we found that hydroquinine directly affects the mRNA expression of arc operon. We demonstrated that the ADI-related genes, including the arginine/ornithine antiporter (arcD) and the three enzymes (arginine deiminase (arcA), ornithine transcarbamylase (arcB), and carbamate kinase (arcC)), were significantly downregulated at a half MIC of hydroquinine. This study is the first report that the ADI-related proteins are potential molecular targets for the inhibitory effect of hydroquinine against clinically isolated MDR P. aeruginosa strains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19314
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2023


  • arginine deiminase pathway
  • drug resistance
  • hydroquinine
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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