Genetically engineered variants of human lysozyme represent promising leads in the battle against drug-resistant bacterial pathogens, but early stage development and testing of novel lysozyme variants is constrained by the lack of a robust, scalable and facile expression system. While wild type human lysozyme is reportedly produced at 50-80kg per hectare of land in recombinant rice, this plant-based system is not readily scaled down to bench top production, and it is therefore not suitable for development and characterization of novel lysozyme variants. Here, we describe a novel and efficient expression system capable of producing folded, soluble and functional human lysozyme in E. coli cells. To achieve this goal, we simultaneously co-express multiple protein folding chaperones as well as harness the lysozyme inhibitory protein, Ivy. Our strategy exploits E. coli's ease of culture, short doubling time, and facile genetics to yield upwards of 30mg/L of soluble lysozyme in a bioreactor system, a 3000-fold improvement over prior efforts in E. coli. Additionally, molecular interactions between lysozyme and a his-tagged Ivy allows for one-step purification by IMAC chromatography, yielding as much as 21mg/L of purified enzyme. We anticipate that our expression and purification platform will facilitate further development of engineered lysozymes having utility in disease treatment and other practical applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spread of drug-resistant bacterial pathogens a growing global concern and has prompted an effort to explore potential adjuvant and alternative therapies derived from nature's repertoire of bactericidal proteins and peptides. In humans, the airway-surface liquid layer is a rich source of antibiotics, and lysozyme represents one of the most abundant and effective antimicrobial components of airway secretions. Human lysozyme is active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, acting through several mechanisms including catalytic degradation of cell wall peptidoglycan and subsequent bacterial lysis. In the infected lung, however, lysozyme's dense cationic character can result in sequestration and inhibition by polyanions associated with airway inflammation. As a result, the efficacy of the native enzyme may be compromised in the infected and inflamed lung. To address this limitation, we previously constructed a charge engineered variant of human lysozyme that was less prone to electrostatic-mediated inhibition in vitro. Here, we employ a murine model to show that this engineered enzyme is superior to wild type human lysozyme as a treatment for mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections. The engineered enzyme effectively decreases bacterial burden and reduces markers of inflammation and lung injury. Importantly, we found no evidence of acute toxicity or allergic hypersensitivity upon repeated administration of the engineered biotherapeutic. Thus, the charge engineered lysozyme represents an interesting therapeutic candidate for P. aeruginosa lung infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cells that line the mucosa of the human gastrointestinal tract (GI, that is, oral cavity, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum) are constantly challenged by adverse micro-environmental factors, such as different pH, enzymes, and bacterial flora. With exception of the oral cavity, these microenvironments also contain remnant cocktails of secreted enzymes and bacteria from upper organs along the tract. The density of the GI bacteria varies, from 103/mL near the gastric outlet, to 1010/mL at the ileocecal valve, to 1011 to 1012/mL in the colon. The total microbial population (ca. 1014) exceeds the total number of cells in the tract. It is, therefore, remarkable that despite the prima facie inauspicious mixture of harmful secretions and bacteria, the normal GI mucosa retains a healthy state of cell renewal. To counteract the hostile microenvironment, the GI epithelia react by speeding cell exfoliation (the GI mucosa has a turnover time of two to three days), by increasing peristalsis, by eliminating bacteria through secretion of plasma cell-immunoglobulins and by increasing production of natural antibacterial compounds, such as defensin-5 and lysozyme. Only recently, lysozyme was found up-regulated in Barrett's oesophagitis, chronic gastritis, gluten-induced atrophic duodenitis (coeliac disease), collagenous colitis, lymphocytic colitis, and Crohn's colitis. This up-regulation is a response directed to the special types of bacteria recently detected in these diseases. The aim of lysozyme up-regulation is to protect individual mucosal segments to chronic inflammation. The molecular mechanisms connected to the crosstalk between the intraluminal bacterial flora and the production of lysozyme released by the GI mucosae, are discussed. Bacterial resistance continues to exhaust our supply of commercial antibiotics. The potential use of lysozyme to treat infectious diseases is receiving much attention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular engineering of bacteria, fungi, insect cells and mammalian cells is a promising methodology to improve recombinant protein production for structural, biochemical, and commercial applications. Increased understanding of the host organism biology has suggested engineering strategies targeting bottlenecks in transcription, translation, protein processing and secretory pathways, as well as cell growth and survival. A combination of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology has been used to improve the properties of cells for protein production, which has resulted in enhanced yields of multiple protein classes.
Current Opinion in Structural Biology 04/2014; 26C(1):32-38. DOI:10.1016/j.sbi.2014.03.005 · 7.20 Impact Factor
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