Glycopeptide antibiotics are clinically important as a second-line therapy for the treatment for nosocomial infections caused by Gram-positive pathogens. A universal mode of action for glycopeptide antibiotics is to target the terminal residues, d-Alanyl-d-Alanine on the cell wall peptidoglycan intermediate lipid II, arresting the later stages of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. This weakens the cell wall, making it susceptible to rupture. A general resistance mechanism for glycopeptide antibiotics requires the core genes, vanRSHAX, that detect the presence of a glycopeptide (VanS) and upregulate genes (VanR) which orchestrate the remodelling of d-Ala-d-Ala on lipid II to d-Ala-d-Lactate (VanHAX). Glycopeptide affinity for lipid II is reduced by 1000-fold and biological activity impaired. Our previous study has shown that altering the termini of peptidoglycan precursors by VanHAX action was not sufficient for the resistance of the glycopeptide teicoplanin in S. coelicolor, which is instead mediated mainly by VanJ. Using RNA-seq, this study is designed to understand how the adaptive response in an S. coelicolor wild type (M600) and a vanJ mutant strain differ after exposure to teicoplanin. We have also compared these data with available data on the cell wall targeting antibiotics vancomycin, bacitracin and moenoymycin. By doing so, we aim to gain insight into the molecular basis of the improved activity of teicoplanin over vancomycin as well as identify novel cellular targets of teicoplanin which can help inform the design of future glycopeptides with desirable therapeutic properties.


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