Special Issue "Development of Bacteriophage Derived Lysins and Depolymerases for Therapeutic Purposes in Combating Bacterial Pathogens"

A special issue of Antibiotics (ISSN 2079-6382). This special issue belongs to the section "Bacteriophages".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hugo Oliveira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal
Interests: Bacteriophages; Phage-dervied proteins; Bacterial infections; Genomics; Proteomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bacterial infections have been increasing over the years, being considered as a huge health problem worldwide. This is particularly due to the increase in the resistance to antibiotics, which lead to less effective treatments. Consequently, new strategies are needed to control multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Bacteriophage-derived proteins can be seen as an appealing alternative treatment. Bacteriophages are viruses that encode several specialized proteins that break down several host carbohydrate barriers, allowing them to enter, replicate and lyse their bacterial hosts. First, polysaccharide depolymerases degrade capsules, lipopolysaccharides or exopolysaccharides, allowing phages to reach the inner cell layers. Second, virion-associated lysins come into play by locally degrading the peptidoglycan, enabling phages to inject their DNA inside the cell and replicate. Finally, endolysins are produced at the end of the phage lytic cycle to quickly degrade the peptidoglycan, causing the cells to burst and the progeny to be subsequently released.

This Special Issue seeks manuscript submissions that further our understanding of how these enzymes could be used to target different bacterial polysaccharides (capsules, lipopolysaccharides, exopolysaccharides and peptidoglycan), to control bacterial pathogens in food, veterinary and human medicine.

Dr. Hugo Oliveira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Antibiotics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Bacteriophages
  • Virion-assiociated lysins
  • Polysaccharide depolymerases
  • Endolysins
  • Bacterial infections

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Rapid and High-Throughput Evaluation of Diverse Configurations of Engineered Lysins Using the VersaTile Technique
Antibiotics 2021, 10(3), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030293 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 611
Abstract
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, [...] Read more.
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 Klebsiella pneumoniae. An elaborate analysis of the activity distribution of 940 variants and sequencing data of 74 top hits inhibiting the growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae 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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phage φAB6-Borne Depolymerase Combats Acinetobacter baumannii Biofilm Formation and Infection
Antibiotics 2021, 10(3), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030279 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Biofilm formation is one of the main causes of increased antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii infections. Bacteriophages and their derivatives, such as tail proteins with depolymerase activity, have shown considerable potential as antibacterial or antivirulence agents against bacterial infections. Here, we gained insights [...] Read more.
Biofilm formation is one of the main causes of increased antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii infections. Bacteriophages and their derivatives, such as tail proteins with depolymerase activity, have shown considerable potential as antibacterial or antivirulence agents against bacterial infections. Here, we gained insights into the activity of a capsular polysaccharide (CPS) depolymerase, derived from the tailspike protein (TSP) of φAB6 phage, to degrade A. baumannii biofilm in vitro. Recombinant TSP showed enzymatic activity and was able to significantly inhibit biofilm formation and degrade formed biofilms; as low as 0.78 ng, the inhibition zone can still be formed on the bacterial lawn. Additionally, TSP inhibited the colonization of A. baumannii on the surface of Foley catheter sections, indicating that it can be used to prevent the adhesion of A. baumannii to medical device surfaces. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated membrane leakage of bacterial cells treated with TSP, resulting in cell death. The therapeutic effect of TSP in zebrafish was also evaluated and the results showed that the survival rate was significantly improved (80%) compared with that of the untreated control group (10%). Altogether, we show that TSP derived from φAB6 is expected to become a new antibiotic against multi-drug resistant A. baumannii and a biocontrol agent that prevents the formation of biofilms on medical devices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Putative Amidase Endolysin Encoded by Clostridium perfringens St13 Exhibits Specific Lytic Activity and Synergizes with the Muramidase Endolysin Psm
Antibiotics 2021, 10(3), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030245 - 01 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Clostridium perfringens is an often-harmful intestinal bacterium that causes various diseases ranging from food poisoning to life-threatening fulminant disease. Potential treatments include phage-derived endolysins, a promising family of alternative antimicrobial agents. We surveyed the genome of the C. perfringens st13 strain and identified [...] Read more.
Clostridium perfringens is an often-harmful intestinal bacterium that causes various diseases ranging from food poisoning to life-threatening fulminant disease. Potential treatments include phage-derived endolysins, a promising family of alternative antimicrobial agents. We surveyed the genome of the C. perfringens st13 strain and identified an endolysin gene, psa, in the phage remnant region. Psa has an N-terminal catalytic domain that is homologous to the amidase_2 domain, and a C-terminal domain of unknown function. psa and gene derivatives encoding various Psa subdomains were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli as N-terminal histidine-tagged proteins. Purified His-tagged full-length Psa protein (Psa-his) showed C. perfringens-specific lytic activity in turbidity reduction assays. In addition, we demonstrated that the uncharacterized C-terminal domain has cell wall-binding activity. Furthermore, cell wall-binding measurements showed that Psa binding was highly specific to C. perfringens. These results indicated that Psa is an amidase endolysin that specifically lyses C. perfringens; the enzyme’s specificity is highly dependent on the binding of the C-terminal domain. Moreover, Psa was shown to have a synergistic effect with another C. perfringens-specific endolysin, Psm, which is a muramidase that cleaves peptidoglycan at a site distinct from that targeted by Psa. The combination of Psa and Psm may be effective in the treatment and prevention of C. perfringens infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Simultaneous Control of Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus Using a Hybrid Endolysin LysB4EAD-LysSA11
Antibiotics 2020, 9(12), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9120906 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 557
Abstract
Bacteriophage endolysins have attracted attention as promising alternatives to antibiotics, and their modular structure facilitates endolysin engineering to develop novel endolysins with enhanced versatility. Here, we constructed hybrid proteins consisting of two different endolysins for simultaneous control of two critical foodborne pathogens, Staphylococcus [...] Read more.
Bacteriophage endolysins have attracted attention as promising alternatives to antibiotics, and their modular structure facilitates endolysin engineering to develop novel endolysins with enhanced versatility. Here, we constructed hybrid proteins consisting of two different endolysins for simultaneous control of two critical foodborne pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. The full-length or enzymatically active domain (EAD) of LysB4, an endolysin from the B. cereus-infecting phage B4, was fused to LysSA11, an endolysin of the S. aureus-infecting phage SA11, via a helical linker in both orientations. The hybrid proteins maintained the lytic activity of their parental endolysins against both S. aureus and B. cereus, but they showed an extended antimicrobial spectrum. Among them, the EAD of LysB4 fused with LysSA11 (LysB4EAD-LyaSA11) showed significantly increased thermal stability compared to its parental endolysins. LysB4EAD-LysSA11 exhibited high lytic activity at pH 8.0–9.0 against S. aureus and at pH 5.0–10.0 against B. cereus, but the lytic activity of the protein decreased in the presence of NaCl. In boiled rice, treatment with 3.0 µM of LysB4EAD-LysSA11 reduced the number of S. aureus and B. cereus to undetectable levels within 2 h and also showed superior antimicrobial activity to LyB4EAD and LysSA11 in combination. These results suggest that LysB4EAD-LysSA11 could be a potent antimicrobial agent for simultaneous control of S. aureus and B. cereus. Full article
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