Cancer-specific binary expression system activated in mice by bacteriophage HK022 Integrase.
ABSTRACT: Binary systems based on site-specific recombination have been used for tumor specific transcription targeting of suicide genes in animal models. In these binary systems a site specific recombinase or integrase that is expressed from a tumor specific promoter drives tumor specific expression of a cytotoxic gene. In the present study we developed a new cancer specific binary expression system activated by the Integrase (Int) of the lambdoid phage HK022. We demonstrate the validity of this system by the specific expression of a luciferase (luc) reporter in human embryonic kidney 293T (HEK293T) cells and in a lung cancer mouse model. Due to the absence viral vectors and of cytotoxicity the Int based binary system offers advantages over previously described counterparts and may therefore be developed into a safer cancer cell killing system.
Project description:The binary system presented in this work is based on the bacteriophage HK022 integrase recombinase that activates the expression of a silenced Diphtheria toxin gene, both controlled by the cancer specific hTERT promoter. Using a lung cancer mice model, assays of different apoptotic and anti-apoptotic factors have demonstrated that the Integrase based binary system is highly specific towards cancer cells and more efficient compared to the conventional mono system whose toxin is directly expressed under hTERT. In a mice survival test, this binary system demonstrated longer persistence compared to the untreated and the mono treated ones. The reason underlying the advantage of this binary system over the mono system seems to be an overexpression of various hTERT suppressing factors induced by the mono system.
Project description:HK022 coliphage site-specific recombinase Integrase (Int) can catalyze integrative site-specific recombination and recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) reactions in mammalian cell cultures. Owing to the promiscuity of the 7 bp overlap sequence in its att sites, active 'attB' sites flanking human deleterious mutations were previously identified that may serve as substrates for RMCE reactions for future potential gene therapy. However, the wild type Int proved inefficient in catalyzing such RMCE reactions. To address this low efficiency, variants of Int were constructed and examined by integrative site-specific recombination and RMCE assays in human cells using native 'attB' sites. As a proof of concept, various Int derivatives have demonstrated successful RMCE reactions using a pair of native 'attB' sites that were inserted as a substrate into the human genome. Moreover, successful RMCE reactions were demonstrated in native locations of the human CTNS and DMD genes whose mutations are responsible for Cystinosis and Duchene Muscular Dystrophy diseases, respectively. This work provides a steppingstone for potential downstream therapeutic applications.
Project description:Bacteriophage O276 is a laboratory-generated hybrid that carries the immunity region of bacteriophage HK022 and all remaining genes from phage ?. Its construction was instrumental in the discovery of RNA-mediated antitermination, an intriguing alternative to the protein-mediated mechanism of transcription antitermination found in most lambdoid phages.
Project description:We report the sequence of a region of the PR operon of lambdoid phage HK022 and an analysis of the proteins it encodes. This region has DNA sequence elements and open reading frames that resemble those found in phages lambda, P22, and phi 80. The open reading frames encode homologs of the lambda CII transcription activator, the P22 DNA replication proteins, and a fourth protein of unknown function.
Project description:Phage 16-3 is a temperate phage of Rhizobium meliloti 41 which integrates its genome with high efficiency into the host chromosome by site-specific recombination through DNA sequences of attB and attP. Here we report the identification of two phage-encoded genes required for recombinations at these sites: int (phage integration) and xis (prophage excision). We concluded that Int protein of phage 16-3 belongs to the integrase family of tyrosine recombinases. Despite similarities to the cognate systems of the lambdoid phages, the 16-3 int xis att system is not active in Escherichia coli, probably due to requirements for host factors that differ in Rhizobium meliloti and E. coli. The application of the 16-3 site-specific recombination system in biotechnology is discussed.
Project description:Bacteriophage ? N protein binds boxB RNA hairpins in the nut (N utilization) sites of immediate early ? transcripts and interacts with host factors to suppress transcriptional termination at downstream terminators. In opposition to ? N, the Nun protein of HK022 binds the boxBs of coinfecting ? transcripts, interacts with a similar or identical set of host factors, and terminates transcription to suppress ? replication. Comparison of N-boxB and Nun-boxB nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structural models suggests similar interactions, though limited mutagenesis of Nun is available. Here, libraries of Nun's arginine-rich motif (ARM) were screened for the ability to exclude ? coinfection, and mutants were assayed for Nun termination with a boxB plasmid reporter system. Several Nun ARM residues appear to be immutable: Asp26, Arg28, Arg29, Arg32, Trp33, and Arg36. Asp26 and Trp33 appear to be unable to contact boxB and are not found at equivalent positions in ? N ARM. To understand if the requirement of Asp26, Trp33, and Arg36 indicated differences between HK022 Nun termination and ? N antitermination complexes, the same Nun libraries were fused to the activation domain of ? N and screened for clones able to complement N-deficient ?. Mutants were assayed for N antitermination. Surprisingly, Asp26 and Trp33 were still essential when Nun ARM was fused to N. Docking suggests that Nun ARM contacts a hydrophobic surface of the NusG carboxy-terminal domain containing residues necessary for Nun function. These findings indicate that Nun ARM relies on distinct contacts in its ternary complex and illustrate how protein-RNA recognition can evolve new regulatory functions.? N protein interacts with host factors to allow ? nut-containing transcripts to elongate past termination signals. A competing bacteriophage, HK022, expresses Nun protein, which causes termination of ? nut transcripts. ? N and HK022 Nun use similar arginine-rich motifs (ARMs) to bind the same boxB RNAs in nut transcripts. Screening libraries of Nun ARM mutants, both in HK022 Nun and in a ? N fusion, revealed amino acids essential to Nun that could bind one or more host factors. Docking suggests that NusG, which is present in both Nun termination and N antitermination, is a plausible partner. These findings could help understand how transcription elongation is regulated and illustrate how subtle differences allow ARMs to evolve new regulatory functions.
Project description:Temperate bacteriophage D3, a member of the virus family Siphoviridae, is responsible for serotype conversion in its host, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The complete sequence of the double-stranded DNA genome has been determined. The 56,426 bp contains 90 putative open reading frames (ORFs) and four genes specifying tRNAs. The latter are specific for methionine (AUG), glycine (GGA), asparagine (AAC), and threonine (ACA). The tRNAs may function in the translation of certain highly expressed proteins from this relatively AT-rich genome. D3 proteins which exhibited a high degree of sequence similarity to previously characterized phage proteins included the portal, major head, tail, and tail tape measure proteins, endolysin, integrase, helicase, and NinG. The layout of genes was reminiscent of lambdoid phages, with the exception of the placement of the endolysin gene, which parenthetically also lacked a cognate holin. The greatest sequence similarity was found in the morphogenesis genes to coliphages HK022 and HK97. Among the ORFs was discovered the gene encoding the fucosamine O-acetylase, which is in part responsible for the serotype conversion events.
Project description:A comparison between the efficiency of recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) reactions catalyzed in Escherichia coli by the site-specific recombinases Flp of yeast and Int of coliphage HK022 has revealed that an Flp-catalyzed RMCE reaction is more efficient than an Int-HK022 catalyzed reaction. In contrast, an RMCE reaction with 1 pair of frt sites and 1 pair of att sites catalyzed in the presence of both recombinases is very inefficient. However, the same reaction catalyzed by each recombinase individually supplied in a sequential order is very efficient, regardless of the order. Atomic force microscopy images of Flp with its DNA substrates show that only 1 pair of recombination sites forms a synaptic complex with the recombinase. The results suggest that the RMCE reaction is sequential.
Project description:The exo-xis region of lambdoid phages contains open reading frames and genes that appear to be evolutionarily important. However, this region has received little attention up to now. In this study, we provided evidence that ea22, the largest gene of this region, favors the lysogenic pathway over the lytic pathway in contrast to other characterized exo-xis region genes including ea8.5, orf61, orf60a, and orf63. Our assays also suggest some functional analogies between Ea22 and the phage integrase protein (Int). While it is unsurprising that Ea22 operates similarly in both ? and Stx phages, we have observed some distinctions that may arise from considerable sequence dissimilarity at the carboxy termini of each protein.
Project description:Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli emerged as new food borne pathogens in the early 1980s, primarily driven by the dispersal of Shiga toxin-encoding lambdoid bacteriophages. At least some of these Stx phages display superinfection phenotypes, which differ significantly from lambda phage itself, driving through in situ recombination further phage evolution, increasing host range and potentially increasing the host's pathogenic profile. Here, increasing levels of Stx phage Φ24(B) integrase expression in multiple lysogen cultures are demonstrated along with apparently negligible repression of integrase expression by the cognate CI repressor. The Φ24(B) int transcription start site and promoter region were identified and found to differ from in silico predictions. The unidirectional activity of this integrase was determined in an in situ, inducible tri-partite reaction. This indicated that Φ24(B) must encode a novel directionality factor that is controlling excision events during prophage induction. This excisionase was subsequently identified and characterized through complementation experiments. In addition, the previous proposal that a putative antirepressor was responsible for the lack of immunity to superinfection through inactivation of CI has been revisited and a new hypothesis involving the role of this protein in promoting efficient induction of the Φ24(B) prophage is proposed.