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Gene. 2009 Aug 15;443(1-2):32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2009.04.023. Epub 2009 May 5.

Differentially conserved staphylococcal SH3b_5 cell wall binding domains confer increased staphylolytic and streptolytic activity to a streptococcal prophage endolysin domain.

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Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, BARC, ARS, USDA, 10300 Baltimore Ave, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.


Staphylococcal peptidoglycan hydrolases are a potential new source of antimicrobials. A large subset harbors C-terminal SH3b_5 cell wall binding domains. These C-terminal domains have been shown to be necessary for accurate cell wall recognition and subsequent staphylolytic activity for some endolysins. Over fifty proteins of staphylococcal or phage origin containing SH3b domains were aligned, yielding five highly repetitive groups of proteins. Representative C-termini from these five groups, and six staphylococcal proteins for which no homologues have been identified, were aligned, revealing two distinct SH3b_5 subgroups with overlapping but differentially conserved residues. A premise behind this research is that there may be unique cell wall binding properties conferred by these staphylococcal domains that could be exploited to specifically enhance anti-staphylococcal efficacy in heterologous protein fusion constructs. To identify functional differences between the two subgroups, the native Cpl-7 cell wall binding domains of the streptococcal LambdaSa2 endolysin were replaced by staphylococcal SH3b domains from both subgroups. SH3b domains from either lysostaphin (bacteriocin) or LysK (phage endolysin) resulted in a approximately 5x increase in staphylolytic activity conferred on the streptococcal endopeptidase domain, and surprisingly these same fusions maintained significant streptolytic activity suggesting that the staphylococcal SH3b domains are not always staphylococcal-specific. A comparison of the differences in lytic activity conferred on the LambdaSa2 endopeptidase domain by either LysK or lysostaphin SH3b domain differed by no more than a factor of two. Through the collection of peptidoglycan hydrolase sequences, three new putative intron-containing phage endolysin genes were identified in public data sets for the phages G1, X2 and 85.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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