Two T7-like Bacteriophages, K5-2 and K5-4, Each Encodes Two Capsule Depolymerases: Isolation and Functional Characterization.
ABSTRACT: Two Klebsiella bacteriophages K5-2 and K5-4, which are able to infect and grow on either capsular types K30/K69 and K5 or K8 and K5 of Klebsiella strains, were isolated and characterized. Each phage contained two open reading frames (ORFs), which encoded two putative capsule depolymerases, respectively. The first ORF encoded tail fiber proteins, which have K30/K69 depolymerase and K8 depolymerase activities. The second ORF encoded hypothetical proteins, which are almost identical in amino acid sequences, and have K5 depolymerase activity. Alcian blue staining of enzyme-treated capsular polysaccharides (CPS) showed that purified depolymerases can cleave purified Klebsiella CPS in vitro and liberate monosaccharaides. Capsule K5 deletion mutants were not lysed by either phage, suggesting that the capsule was essential for phage infection. Bacterial killing was observed when incubated Klebsiella strains with phages but not with purified depolymerases. Treatment with the K5-4 phage significantly increased the survival of mice infected with a K. pneumoniae K5 strain. In conclusion, two dual host-specific Klebsiella phages and their tailspikes exhibit capsule depolymerase activity were characterized. Each phage and phage-encoded depolymerase has specificity for capsular type K30/K69, K8 or K5, and could be used for the typing and treatment of K. pneumoniae infection.
Project description:The genome of the multihost bacteriophage ?K64-1, capable of infecting Klebsiella capsular types K1, K11, K21, K25, K30, K35, K64, and K69, as well as new capsular types KN4 and KN5, was analyzed and revealed that 11 genes (S1-1, S1-2, S1-3, S2-1, S2-2, S2-3, S2-4, S2-5, S2-6, S2-7, and S2-8) encode proteins with amino acid sequence similarity to tail fibers/spikes or lyases. S2-5 previously was shown to encode a K64 capsule depolymerase (K64dep). Specific capsule-degrading activities of an additional eight putative capsule depolymerases (S2-4 against K1, S1-1 against K11, S1-3 against K21, S2-2 against K25, S2-6 against K30/K69, S2-3 against K35, S1-2 against KN4, and S2-1 against KN5) was demonstrated by expression and purification of the recombinant proteins. Consistent with the capsular type-specific depolymerization activity of these gene products, phage mutants of S1-2, S2-2, S2-3, or S2-6 lost infectivity for KN4, K25, K35, or K30/K69, respectively, indicating that capsule depolymerase is crucial for infecting specific hosts. In conclusion, we identified nine functional capsule depolymerase-encoding genes in a bacteriophage and correlated activities of the gene products to all ten hosts of this phage, providing an example of type-specific host infection mechanisms in a multihost bacteriophage.IMPORTANCE We currently identified eight novel capsule depolymerases in a multihost Klebsiella bacteriophage and correlated the activities of the gene products to all hosts of this phage, providing an example of carriage of multiple depolymerases in a phage with a wide capsular type host spectrum. Moreover, we also established a recombineering system for modification of Klebsiella bacteriophage genomes and demonstrated the importance of capsule depolymerase for infecting specific hosts. Based on the powerful tool for modification of phage genome, further studies can be conducted to improve the understanding of mechanistic details of Klebsiella phage infection. Furthermore, the newly identified capsule depolymerases will be of great value for applications in capsular typing.
Project description:Capsule depolymerase enzymes offer a promising class of new antibiotics. In vivo studies are encouraging but it is unclear how well this type of phage product will generalize in therapeutics, or whether different depolymerases against the same capsule function similarly. Here, in vivo efficacy was tested using cloned bacteriophage depolymerases against Escherichia coli strains with three different capsule types: K1, K5, and K30. When treating infections with the cognate capsule type in a mouse thigh model, the previously studied K1E depolymerase rescued poorly, whereas K1F, K1H, K5, and K30 depolymerases rescued well. K30 gp41 was identified as the catalytically active protein. In contrast to the in vivo studies, K1E enzyme actively degraded K1 capsule polysaccharide in vitro and sensitized K1 bacteria to serum killing. The only in vitro correlate of poor K1E performance in vivo was that the purified enzyme did not form the expected trimer. K1E appeared as an 18-mer which might limit its in vivo distribution. Overall, depolymerases were easily identified, cloned from phage genomes, and as purified proteins they proved generally effective.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae produces capsular polysaccharides that are a crucial virulence factor protecting bacteria against innate response mechanisms of the infected host. Simultaneously, those capsules are targeted by specific bacteriophages equipped with virion-associated depolymerases able to recognize and degrade these polysaccharides. We show that Klebsiella phage KP32 produces two capsule depolymerases, KP32gp37 and KP32gp38, with a high specificity for the capsular serotypes K3 and K21, respectively. Together, they determine the host spectrum of bacteriophage KP32, which is limited to strains with serotype K3 and K21. Both depolymerases form a trimeric ?-structure, display moderate thermostability and function optimally under neutral to alkaline conditions. We show that both depolymerases strongly affect the virulence of K. pneumoniae with the corresponding K3 and K21 capsular serotypes. Capsule degradation renders the otherwise serum-resistant cells more prone to complement-mediated killing with up to four log reduction in serum upon exposure to KP32gp37. Decapsulated strains are also sensitized for phagocytosis with a twofold increased uptake. In addition, the intracellular survival of phagocytized cells in macrophages was significantly reduced when bacteria were previously exposed to the capsule depolymerases. Finally, depolymerase application considerably increases the lifespan of Galleria mellonella larvae infected with K. pneumoniae in a time- and strain-dependent manner. In sum, capsule depolymerases are promising antivirulence compounds that act by defeating a major resistance mechanism of K. pneumoniae against the innate immunity.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is an important pathogen causative of health care-associated infections and is able to rapidly develop resistance to all known antibiotics, including colistin. As an alternative therapeutic agent, we have isolated a novel myovirus (vB_AbaM_B9) which specifically infects and makes lysis from without in strains of the K45 and K30 capsule types, respectively. Phage B9 has a genome of 93,641?bp and encodes 167 predicted proteins, of which 29 were identified by mass spectrometry. This phage holds a capsule depolymerase (B9gp69) able to digest extracted exopolysaccharides of both K30 and K45 strains and remains active in a wide range of pH values (5 to 9), ionic strengths (0 to 500?mM), and temperatures (20 to 80°C). B9gp69 was demonstrated to be nontoxic in a cell line model of the human lung and to make the K45 strain fully susceptible to serum killing in vitro Contrary to the case with phage, no resistance development was observed by bacteria targeted with the B9gp69. Therefore, capsular depolymerases may represent attractive antimicrobial agents against A. baumannii infections.IMPORTANCE Currently, phage therapy has revived interest for controlling hard-to-treat bacterial infections. Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging Gram-negative pathogen able to cause a variety of nosocomial infections. Additionally, this species is becoming more resistant to several classes of antibiotics. Here we describe the isolation of a novel lytic myophage B9 and its recombinant depolymerase. While the phage can be a promising alternative antibacterial agent, its success in the market will ultimately depend on new regulatory frameworks and general public acceptance. We therefore characterized the phage-encoded depolymerase, which is a natural enzyme that can be more easily managed and used. To our knowledge, the therapeutic potential of phage depolymerase against A. baumannii is still unknown. We show for the first time that the K45 capsule type is an important virulence factor of A. baumannii and that capsule removal via the recombinant depolymerase activity helps the host immune system to combat the bacterial infection.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important human pathogen causing opportunistic nosocomial and community-acquired infections. A major public health concern regarding K. pneumoniae is the increasing incidence of multidrug-resistant strains. Here, we isolated three novel Klebsiella bacteriophages, KN1-1, KN3-1 and KN4-1, which infect KN1, KN3 and K56, and KN4 types respectively. We determined their genome sequences and conducted a comparative analysis that revealed a variable region containing capsule depolymerase-encoding genes. Recombinant depolymerase proteins were produced, and their enzymatic activity and specificity were evaluated. We identified four capsule depolymerases in these phages that could only digest the capsule types of their respective hosts. Our results demonstrate that the activities of these capsule depolymerases were correlated with the host range of each phage; thus, the capsule depolymerases are host specificity determinants. By generating a capsule mutant, we demonstrate that capsule was essential for phage adsorption and infection. Further, capsule depolymerases can enhance bacterial susceptibility to serum killing. The discovery of these phages and depolymerases lays the foundation for the typing of KN1, KN3, KN4 and K56 Klebsiella and could be useful alternative therapeutics for the treatment of K. pneumoniae infections.
Project description:Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) pose a significant threat to global public health. In present research, a total of 80 CRKP strains belonging to ST11 were collected with 70% (56 of 80 isolates) expressing a K47 capsular type. Thus, it is significant to prevent and control infections caused by these bacteria. Capsule depolymerases could degrade bacterial surface polysaccharides to reduce their virulence and expose bacteria to host immune attack. Previous studies have demonstrated the potential of phage-encoded depolymerases as antivirulent agents in treating CRKP infections in vitro and in vivo. Here, two capsule depolymerases (Dpo42 and Dpo43) derived from phage IME205 were expressed and characterized. Although both depolymerases act on strains with a capsular serotype K47, they are active against different subsets of strains, indicating subtle differences in capsule composition that exist within this serotype. The host range of phage IME205 matched to the sum of specificity range of Dpo42 and Dpo43. These two enzymes maintained stable activity in a relatively broad range of pH levels (pH 5.0-8.0 for Dpo42 and pH 4.0-8.0 for Dpo43) and temperatures (20-70°C). Besides, both Dpo42 and Dpo43 could make host bacteria fully susceptible to the killing effect of serum complement and display no hemolytic activity to erythrocytes. In summary, capsule depolymerases are promising antivirulent agents to combat CRKP infections.
Project description:A total of 79 capsular types have been reported in Klebsiella spp., whereas capsular polysaccharide synthesis (cps) regions were available in only 22 types. Due to the limitations of serotyping, complete repertoire of cps will be helpful for capsular genotyping. We therefore resolved the rest 57 cps and conducted comparative analysis. Clustering results of 1,515 predicted proteins from cps loci categorized proteins which share similarity into homology groups (HGs) revealing that 77 Wzy polymerases were classified into 56 HGs, which indicate the high specificity of wzy between different types. Accordingly, wzy-based capsular genotyping could differentiate capsule types except for those lacking wzy (K29 and K50), those sharing identical wzy (K22 vs. K37); and should be carefully applied in those exhibited high similarity (K12 vs. K41, K2 vs. K13, K74 vs. K80, K79 vs. KN1 and K30 vs. K69). Comparison of CPS structures in several capsular types that shared similarity in their gene contents implies possible functions of glycosyltransferases. Therefore, our results provide complete set of cps in various types of Klebsiella spp., which enable the understandings of relationship between genes and CPS structures and are useful for identification of documented or new capsular types.
Project description:The emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a major global health concern. The search for new therapies has brought bacteriophages into the spotlight, and new phages are being described as possible therapeutic agents. Among the bacteria that are most extensively resistant to current antibiotics is Klebsiella pneumoniae, whose hypervariable extracellular capsule makes treatment particularly difficult. Here, we describe two new K. pneumoniae phages, ?VLC5 and ?VLC6, isolated from environmental samples. These phages belong to the genus Drulisvirus within the family Podoviridae. Both phages encode a similar tail spike protein with putative depolymerase activity, which is shared among other related phages and probably determines their ability to specifically infect K. pneumoniae capsular types K22 and K37. In addition, we found that phage ?VLC6 also infects capsular type K13 and is capable of striping the capsules of K. pneumoniae KL2 and KL3, although the phage was not infectious in these two strains. Genome sequence analysis suggested that the extended tropism of phage ?VLC6 is conferred by a second, divergent depolymerase. Phage ?VLC5 encodes yet another putative depolymerase, but we found no activity of this phage against capsular types other than K22 and K37, after testing a panel of 77 reference strains. Overall, our results confirm that most phages productively infected one or few Klebsiella capsular types. This constitutes an important challenge for clinical applications.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the major pathogens causing hospital-acquired multidrug-resistant infections. The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) is an important virulence factor of K. pneumoniae. With 78 capsular types discovered thus far, an association between capsular type and the pathogenicity of K. pneumoniae has been observed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To investigate an initially non-typeable K. pneumoniae UTI isolate NTUH-K1790N, the cps gene region was sequenced. By NTUH-K1790N cps-PCR genotyping, serotyping and determination using a newly isolated capsular type-specific bacteriophage, we found that NTUH-K1790N and three other isolates Ca0507, Ca0421 and C1975 possessed a new capsular type, which we named KN2. Analysis of a KN2 CPS(-) mutant confirmed the role of capsule as the target recognized by the antiserum and the phage. A newly described lytic phage specific for KN2 K. pneumoniae, named 0507-KN2-1, was isolated and characterized using transmission electron microscopy. Whole-genome sequencing of 0507-KN2-1 revealed a 159 991 bp double-stranded DNA genome with a G+C content of 46.7% and at least 154 open reading frames. Based on its morphological and genomic characteristics, 0507-KN2-1 was classified as a member of the Myoviridae phage family. Further analysis of this phage revealed a 3738-bp gene encoding a putative polysaccharide depolymerase. A recombinant form of this protein was produced and assayed to confirm its enzymatic activity and specificity to KN2 capsular polysaccharides. KN2 K. pneumoniae strains exhibited greater sensitivity to this depolymerase than these did to the cognate phage, as determined by spot analysis. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Here we report that a group of clinical strains possess a novel Klebsiella capsular type. We identified a KN2-specific phage and its polysaccharide depolymerase, which could be used for efficient capsular typing. The lytic phage and depolymerase also have potential as alternative therapeutic agents to antibiotics for treating K. pneumoniae infections, especially against antibiotic-resistant strains.
Project description:Carbapenem-resistant <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> (CRKP), one of the major nosocomial pathogens, is increasingly becoming a serious threat to global public health. There is an urgent need to develop effective therapeutic and preventive approaches to combat the pathogen. Here, we identified and characterized a novel capsule depolymerase (K64-ORF41) derived from <i>Klebsiella</i> phage SH-KP152410, which showed specific activities for <i>K. pneumoniae</i> K64-serotype. We showed that this depolymerase could be used in the identification of K64 serotypes based on the capsular typing, and the results agreed well with those from the conventional serotyping method using antisera. From this study, we also identified K64 mutant strains, which showed typing discrepancy between <i>wzi</i>-sequencing based genotyping and depolymerase-based or antiserum-based typing methods. Further investigation indicated that the mutant strain has an insertion sequence (IS) in <i>wcaJ</i>, which led to the alteration of the capsular serotype structure. We further demonstrated that K64-ORF41 depolymerase could sensitize the bacteria to serum or neutrophil killing by degrading the capsular polysaccharide. In summary, the identified K64 depolymerase proves to be an accurate and reliable tool for capsular typing, which will facilitate the preventive intervention such as vaccine development. In addition, the polymerase may represent a potential and promising therapeutic biologics against CRKP-K64 infections.