A Novel Small Molecule, LCG-N25, Inhibits Oral Streptococcal Biofilm

Dental caries is a chronic oral infectious disease caused by cariogenic biofilm adhered on the tooth surface. Our previous study demonstrated that a repurposed natural compound napabucasin (NAP) showed good antimicrobial activity against oral streptococcal biofilms. The current study designed a novel small molecule, namely LCG-N25, using NAP as a lead compound, and aimed to investigate its potential as an antimicrobial agent in the control of dental caries. LCG-N25 was designed and synthesized with reference to the structure of NAP. The minimal inhibitory concentrations and the minimal bactericidal concentrations of LCG-N25 against Streptococcus mutansStreptococcus sanguinis, and Streptococcus gordonii were evaluated by microdilution method. The antimicrobial activity of LCG-N25 was further evaluated by crystal violet staining, colony forming units counting, biofilm metabolism assay, dead/live fluorescent staining, and scanning electron microscopy. The effect of LCG-N25 on the extracellular polysaccharides of biofilms was determined by both anthrone-sulfuric acid method and fluorescent staining. The microbial composition of streptococcal biofilms after LCG-N25 treatment was further visualized and quantified by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Besides, the cytotoxicity of LCG-N25 was evaluated by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay, and repeated exposure of S. mutans to LCG-N25 treatment was performed to assess if this novel compound could induce drug resistance of this cariogenic bacterium. We found that LCG-N25 exhibited a good antibacterial activity, low-cytotoxicity, and did not induce drug resistance of cariogenic S. mutans. These findings suggest that LCG-N25 may represent a promising antimicrobial agent that can be used as an adjuvant to the management of dental caries.

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