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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 24;6:35382. doi: 10.1038/srep35382.

'Artilysation' of endolysin λSa2lys strongly improves its enzymatic and antibacterial activity against streptococci.

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Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n 33300- Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain.
Laboratory of Gene Technology, Department of Biosystems, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 21 - box 2462, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium.
Lisando GmbH, Am BioPark 13, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.
Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems, KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium.
Laboratory of Applied Biotechnology, Department of Applied Biosciences, Ghent University, Ghent Belgium.


Endolysins constitute a promising class of antibacterials against Gram-positive bacteria. Recently, endolysins have been engineered with selected peptides to obtain a new generation of lytic proteins, Artilysins, with specific activity against Gram-negative bacteria. Here, we demonstrate that artilysation can also be used to enhance the antibacterial activity of endolysins against Gram-positive bacteria and to reduce the dependence on external conditions. Art-240, a chimeric protein of the anti-streptococcal endolysin λSa2lys and the polycationic peptide PCNP, shows a similar species specificity as the parental endolysin, but the bactericidal activity against streptococci increases and is less affected by elevated NaCl concentrations and pH variations. Time-kill experiments and time-lapse microscopy demonstrate that the killing rate of Art-240 is approximately two-fold higher compared to wildtype endolysin λSa2lys, with a reduction in viable bacteria of 3 log units after 10 min. In addition, lower doses of Art-240 are required to achieve the same bactericidal effect.

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