Hydroquinine is an organic compound that is closely related to quinine-derivative drugs and contains anti-malarial and anti-arrhythmia activities. It has been also found in abundance in some natural extracts that possess antibacterial properties. However, there is little evidence demonstrating the antibacterial effect of hydroquinine. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the antibacterial properties of hydroquinine using broth microdilution methods. In addition, we evaluated the transcriptional responses of P. aeruginosa to hydroquinine-induced stress using RNA sequencing with transcriptomic analysis and validated the results using PCR-based methods. The MIC and MBC values of hydroquinine against all eight bacterial strains investigated ranged from 650 to 2500 and from 1250 to 5000 µg/mL, respectively. Transcriptomic analysis demonstrated that RND efflux pump transcripts were overexpressed (4.90–9.47 Log2 fold change). Using mRT-dPCR and RT-qPCR, we identified that mRNA levels of mexD and mexY genes were overexpressed in response to just half the MIC of hydroquinine in P. aeruginosa. In conclusion, we uncover the antimicrobial potential of hydroquinine as well as identify changes in gene expression that may contribute to bacterial resistance. Further work will be required to explore the efficacy and potential use of hydroquinine in the clinic.
- antibacterial agent
- anti-malarial agent
- multiplex digital polymerase chain reaction (mdPCR)
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- RND-type efflux pumps