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Viruses 2018, 10(8), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10080396

Enzymes and Mechanisms Employed by Tailed Bacteriophages to Breach the Bacterial Cell Barriers

Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Current address: IBET—Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica, Apartado 12, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Lytic Enzymes and Their Applications)
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Abstract

Monoderm bacteria possess a cell envelope made of a cytoplasmic membrane and a cell wall, whereas diderm bacteria have and extra lipid layer, the outer membrane, covering the cell wall. Both cell types can also produce extracellular protective coats composed of polymeric substances like, for example, polysaccharidic capsules. Many of these structures form a tight physical barrier impenetrable by phage virus particles. Tailed phages evolved strategies/functions to overcome the different layers of the bacterial cell envelope, first to deliver the genetic material to the host cell cytoplasm for virus multiplication, and then to release the virion offspring at the end of the reproductive cycle. There is however a major difference between these two crucial steps of the phage infection cycle: virus entry cannot compromise cell viability, whereas effective virion progeny release requires host cell lysis. Here we present an overview of the viral structures, key protein players and mechanisms underlying phage DNA entry to bacteria, and then escape of the newly-formed virus particles from infected hosts. Understanding the biological context and mode of action of the phage-derived enzymes that compromise the bacterial cell envelope may provide valuable information for their application as antimicrobials. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial cell envelope; proton motive force; cell wall; peptidoglycan; depolymerase; endolysin; lysin; holin; spanin; LysB bacterial cell envelope; proton motive force; cell wall; peptidoglycan; depolymerase; endolysin; lysin; holin; spanin; LysB
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Fernandes, S.; São-José, C. Enzymes and Mechanisms Employed by Tailed Bacteriophages to Breach the Bacterial Cell Barriers. Viruses 2018, 10, 396.

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