DOI: 10.3390/ijms25010523 ISSN: 1422-0067

Cellular and Enzymatic Determinants Impacting the Exolytic Action of an Anti-Staphylococcal Enzybiotic

Ana Gouveia, Daniela Pinto, Jorge M. B. Vítor, Carlos São-José
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

Bacteriophage endolysins are bacteriolytic enzymes that have been explored as potential weapons to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Despite several studies support the application of endolysins as enzybiotics, detailed knowledge on cellular and enzymatic factors affecting their lytic activity is still missing. The bacterial membrane proton motive force (PMF) and certain cell wall glycopolymers of Gram-positive bacteria have been implicated in some tolerance to endolysins. Here, we studied how the anti-staphylococcal endolysin Lys11, a modular enzyme with two catalytic domains (peptidase and amidase) and a cell binding domain (CBD11), responded to changes in the chemical and/or electric gradients of the PMF (ΔpH and Δψ, respectively). We show that simultaneous dissipation of both gradients enhances endolysin binding to cells and lytic activity. The collapse of ΔpH is preponderant in the stimulation of Lys11 lytic action, while the dissipation of Δψ is mainly associated with higher endolysin binding. Interestingly, this binding depends on the amidase domain. The peptidase domain is responsible for most of the Lys11 bacteriolytic activity. Wall teichoic acids (WTAs) are confirmed as major determinants of endolysin tolerance, in part by severely hindering CBD11 binding activity. In conclusion, the PMF and WTA interfere differently with the endolysin functional domains, affecting both the binding and catalytic efficiencies.

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