Essentiality of FASII pathway for Staphylococcus aureus

Nature. 2010 Jan 21;463(7279):E3; discussion E4. doi: 10.1038/nature08667.


Recently, Brinster et al. suggested that type II fatty-acid biosynthesis (FASII) is not a suitable antibacterial target for Gram-positive pathogens because they use fatty acids directly from host serum rather than de novo synthesis. Their findings, if confirmed, are relevant for further scientific and financial investments in the development of new drugs targeting FASII. We present here in vitro and in vivo data demonstrating that their observations do not hold for Staphylococcus aureus, a major Gram-positive pathogen causing several human infections. The observed differences among Gram-positive pathogens in FASII reflects heterogeneity either in fatty-acid synthesis or in the capacity for fatty-acid uptake from the environment.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / biosynthesis*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / pharmacology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity
  • Triclosan / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Triclosan