PLAN-M; Mycobacteriophage Endolysins Fused to Biodegradable Nanobeads Mitigate Mycobacterial Growth in Liquid and on Surfaces.
ABSTRACT: The Mycobacteria are a genus of Actinobacteria that include human pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). Active TB disease can spread by airborne transmission to healthcare workers and to their community. The HHMI SEA-PHAGES program has contributed to discovering bacteriophages that are able to infect M. smegmatis MC2 155, a close relative of M. tuberculosis. This collection of diverse Mycobacteriophages is an excellent resource for trialling bacteriophage-sourced enzymes in novel applications. Herein we measured the ability Mycobacteriophage endolysins to lyse their host strain when functionally fused to biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) nanobeads. PHA nanobeads facilitate both the expression and the application of enzymes to surfaces and have been demonstrated to stabilize a wide array of proteins for practical applications whilst eliminating the challenges of traditional protein purification. We selected two Lysin A and six Lysin B homologs to be functionally fused to the polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase C (PhaC). Expression of these constructs resulted in functional lysins displayed on the surface of PHA nanobeads. The lysins thus directionally displayed on nanobeads lysed up to 79% of the M. smegmatis MC2 155 population using 80 mg/mL of nanobeads in pure culture. In order to determine whether the nanobeads would be effective as a protective layer in PPE we adapted a fabric-based test and observed a maximum of 1 log loss of the cell population after 5 h of exposure on a textile (91% cell lysis). Lysin B enzymes performed better than the Lysin A enzymes as a protective barrier on textiles surface assays. These results suggest that bacterial endolysins are efficient in their action when displayed on PHA nanobeads and can cause significant population mortality in as little as 45 min. Our results provide the proof-of-principle that Mycobacteriophage endolysins can be used on functionalized nanobeads where they can protect surfaces such as personal protective equipment (PPE) that routinely come into contact with aerosolised bacteria.
Project description:The mycobacterial cell wall presents significant challenges to mycobacteriophages--viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts--because of its unusual structure containing a mycolic acid-rich mycobacterial outer membrane attached to an arabinogalactan layer that is in turn linked to the peptidoglycan. Although little is known about how mycobacteriophages circumvent these barriers during the process of infection, destroying it for lysis at the end of their lytic cycles requires an unusual set of functions. These include Lysin B proteins that cleave the linkage of mycolic acids to the arabinogalactan layer, chaperones required for endolysin delivery to peptidoglycan, holins that regulate lysis timing, and the endolysins (Lysin As) that hydrolyze peptidoglycan. Because mycobacterial peptidoglycan contains atypical features including 3?3 interpeptide linkages, it is not surprising that the mycobacteriophage endolysins also have non-canonical features. We present here a bioinformatic dissection of these lysins and show that they are highly diverse and extensively modular, with an impressive number of domain organizations. Most contain three domains with a novel N-terminal predicted peptidase, a centrally located amidase, muramidase, or transglycosylase, and a C-terminal putative cell wall binding domain.
Project description:Bacteriophage endolysins (lysins) bind to a cell wall substrate and cleave peptidoglycan, resulting in hypotonic lysis of the phage-infected bacteria. When purified lysins are added externally to Gram-positive bacteria they mediate rapid death by the same mechanism. For this reason, novel therapeutic strategies have been developed using such enzybiotics. However, like other proteins introduced into mammalian organisms, they are quickly cleared from systemic circulation. PEGylation has been used successfully to increase the in vivo half-life of many biological molecules and was therefore applied to Cpl-1, a lysin specific for S. pneumoniae. Cysteine-specific PEGylation with either PEG 10K or 40K was achieved on Cpl-1 mutants, each containing an additional cysteine residue at different locations To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the PEGylation of bacteriophage lysin. Compared to the native enzyme, none of the PEGylated conjugates retained significant in vitro anti-pneumococcal lytic activity that would have justified further in vivo studies. Since the anti-microbial activity of the mutant enzymes used in this study was not affected by the introduction of the cysteine residue, our results implied that the presence of the PEG molecule was responsible for the inhibition. As most endolysins exhibit a similar modular structure, we believe that our work emphasizes the inability to improve the in vivo half-life of this class of enzybiotics using a cysteine-specific PEGylation strategy.
Project description:Mycobacteriophages are dsDNA viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts. The mycobacteriophage Ms6 accomplishes lysis by producing two cell wall hydrolytic enzymes, Lysin A (LysA) that possesses a central peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP) super-family conserved domain with the amidase catalytic site, that cleaves the amide bond between the N-acetylmuramic acid and L-alanine residues in the oligopeptide crosslinking chains of the peptidoglycan and Lysin B (LysB) a mycolylarabinogalactan esterase that hydrolyzes the mycolic acids from the mycolyl-arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan complex. Examination of the endolysin (lysA) DNA sequence revealed the existence of an embedded gene (lysA(241)) encoded in the same reading frame and preceded by a consensus ribosome-binding site. In the present work we show that, even though lysA is essential for Ms6 viability, phage mutants that express only the longer (Lysin(384)) or the shorter (Lysin(241)) endolysin are viable, but defective in the normal timing, progression and completion of host cell lysis. In addition, both endolysins have peptidoglycan hydrolase activity and demonstrated broad growth inhibition activity against various gram-positive bacteria and mycobacteria.
Project description:In the billion years that bacteriophage (or phage) have existed together with bacteria the phage have evolved systems that may be exploited for our benefit. One of these is the lytic system used by the phage to release their progeny from an infected bacterium. Endolysins (or lysins) are highly evolved enzymes in the lytic system produced to cleave essential bonds in the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan for progeny release. Small quantities of purified recombinant lysin added externally to gram-positive bacteria results in immediate lysis causing log-fold death of the target bacterium. Lysins have now been used successfully in a variety of animal models to control pathogenic antibiotic resistant bacteria found on mucosal surfaces and in infected tissues. The advantages over antibiotics are their specificity for the pathogen without disturbing the normal flora, the low chance of bacterial resistance, and their ability to kill colonizing pathogens on mucosal surfaces, a capacity previously unavailable. Lysins therefore, may be a much-needed anti-infective (or enzybiotic) in an age of mounting antibiotic resistance.
Project description:The extremely rapid spread of multiple-antibiotic resistance among Gram-negative pathogens threatens to move humankind into the so-called "post-antibiotic era" in which the most efficient and safe antibiotics will not work. Bacteriophage lysins represent promising alternatives to antibiotics, as they are capable of digesting bacterial cell wall peptidoglycans to promote their osmotic lysis. However, relatively little is known regarding the spectrum of lysin bactericidal activity against Gram-negative bacteria. In this study, we present the results of in vitro activity assays of three putative and newly cloned Myoviridae bacteriophage endolysins (LysAm24, LysECD7, and LysSi3). The chosen proteins represent lysins with diverse domain organization (single-domain vs. two-domain) and different predicted mechanisms of action (lysozyme vs. peptidase). The enzymes were purified, and their properties were characterized. The enzymes were tested against a panel of Gram-negative clinical bacterial isolates comprising all Gram-negative representatives of the ESKAPE group. Despite exhibiting different structural organizations, all of the assayed lysins were shown to be capable of lysing Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhi strains. Less than 50 ?g/mL was enough to eradicate growing cells over more than five orders of magnitude. Thus, LysAm24, LysECD7, and LysSi3 represent promising therapeutic agents for drug development.
Project description:Buruli Ulcer (BU) is a cutaneous disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. The pathogenesis of this disease is closely related to the secretion of the toxin mycolactone that induces extensive destruction of the skin and soft tissues. Currently, there are no effective measures to prevent the disease and, despite availability of antibiotherapy and surgical treatments, these therapeutic options are often associated with severe side effects. Therefore, it is important to develop alternative strategies for the treatment of BU. Endolysins (lysins) are phage encoded enzymes that degrade peptidoglycan of bacterial cell walls. Over the past years, lysins have been emerging as alternative antimicrobial agents against bacterial infections. However, mycobacteria have an unusual outer membrane composed of mycolylarabinogalactan-peptidoglycan. To overcome this complex barrier, some mycobacteriophages encode a lipolytic enzyme, Lysin B (LysB). In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that recombinant LysB displays lytic activity against M. ulcerans isolates. Moreover, using a mouse model of M. ulcerans footpad infection, we show that subcutaneous treatment with LysB prevented further bacterial proliferation, associated with IFN-? and TNF production in the draining lymph node. These findings highlight the potential use of lysins as a novel therapeutic approach against this neglected tropical disease.
Project description:<i>Clostridioides difficile</i> is the leading cause of health-care-associated infection throughout the developed world and contributes significantly to patient morbidity and mortality. Typically, antibiotics are used for the primary treatment of <i>C. difficile</i> infections (CDIs), but they are not universally effective for all ribotypes and can result in antibiotic resistance and recurrent infection, while also disrupting the microbiota. Novel targeted therapeutics are urgently needed to combat CDI. Bacteriophage-derived endolysins are required to disrupt the bacterial cell wall of their target bacteria and are possible alternatives to antibiotics. These lytic proteins could potentially replace or augment antibiotics in CDI treatment. We discuss candidate therapeutic lysins derived from phages/prophages of <i>C. difficile</i> and their potential as antimicrobials against CDI. Additionally, we review the antibacterial potential of some recently identified homologues of <i>C. difficile</i> endolysins. Finally, the challenges of endolysins are considered with respect to the development of novel lysin-based therapies.
Project description:Bacteriophage endolysins and bacterial exolysins are capable of enzymatic degradation of the cell wall peptidoglycan layer and thus show promise as a new class of antimicrobials. Both exolysins and endolysins often consist of different modules, which are responsible for enzymatic functions and cell wall binding, respectively. Individual modules from different endo- or exolysins with different binding and enzymatic activities, can via gene fusion technology be re-combined into novel variants for investigations of arrangements of potential clinical interest. The aim of this study was to investigate if separately produced cell wall binding and enzyme modules could be assembled into a functional lysin via a non-covalent affinity interaction bridge composed of the barnase ribonuclease from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and its cognate inhibitor barstar, known to form a stable heterodimeric complex. In a proof-of-principle study, using surface plasmon resonance, flow cytometry and turbidity reduction assays, we show that separately produced modules of a lysin cysteine/histidine-dependent amidohydrolase/peptidase (CHAP) from Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage K endolysin (LysK) fused to barnase and a cell wall binding Src homology 3 domain (SH3b) from the S. simulans exolysin lysostaphin fused to barstar can be non-covalently assembled into a functional lysin showing both cell wall binding and staphylolytic activity. We hypothesize that the described principle for assembly of functional lysins from separate modules through appended hetero-dimerization domains has a potential for investigations of also other combinations of enzymatically active and cell wall binding domains for desired applications.
Project description:Bacteriophage-encoded lysins are an emerging class of antibacterial enzymes based on peptidoglycan degradation. The modular composition of lysins is a hallmark feature enabling optimization of antibacterial and pharmacological properties by engineering of lysin candidates based on lysin and non-lysin modules. In this regard, the recent introduction of the VersaTile technique allows the rapid construction of large modular lysin libraries based on a premade repository of building blocks. In this study, we perform a high-throughput construction and screening of five combinatorial lysin libraries with different configurations, targeting <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i>. An elaborate analysis of the activity distribution of 940 variants and sequencing data of 74 top hits inhibiting the growth of <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> could be associated with specific design rules. Specific outer membrane permeabilizing peptides (OMPs) and enzymatically active domains (EADs) are significantly overrepresented among the top hits, while cell wall binding domains (CBDs) are equally represented. Especially libraries with the configuration (OMP-linker-CBD-EAD) and the inverse configuration (CBD-EAD-linker-OMP) yield the most active variants, with discernible clusters of variants that emerge above the remaining variants. The approach implemented here provides a blueprint for discovery campaigns of engineered lysins starting from libraries with different configurations and compositions.
Project description:The increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria is a major healthcare problem. Antibacterial lysins are enzymes that cleave the peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell wall. These proteins hold potential as a supplement or an alternative to traditional antibiotics since they are active against antibiotic resistant strains. However, antibacterial lysins are rapidly eliminated from the systemic circulation, which limits their application. Dimerization of an anti-pneumococcal lysin Cpl-1 has been demonstrated to decrease the clearance rate of this protein in mice. In the present work, we constructed a dimer of an anti-staphylococcal lysin lysostaphin by fusing it with an anti-parallel ?-helical dimerization domain. Lysostaphin dimer had a more favorable pharmacokinetic profile with increased terminal half-life and area under the curve (AUC) values compared to monomeric lysostaphin. However, the staphylolytic activity of dimerized lysostaphin was decreased. This decrease in activity was likely caused by the dimerization; since the catalytic efficacy of lysostaphin dimer towards pentaglycine peptide was unaltered. Our results demonstrate that, although dimerization is indeed beneficial for the pharmacokinetics of antibacterial lysins, this approach might not be suitable for all lysins, as it can negatively affect the lysin activity.