Lysozyme-Assisted Photothermal Eradication of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection and Accelerated Tissue Repair with Natural Melanosome Nanostructures

ACS Nano. 2019 Oct 22;13(10):11153-11167. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.9b03982. Epub 2019 Aug 23.


Patients often face the challenge of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and lengthy tissue reconstruction after surgery. Herein, human hair-melanosome derivatives (HHMs), comprising keratins and melanins, are developed using a simple "low-temperature alkali heat" method for potentially personalized therapy. The mulberry-shaped HHMs have an average width of ∼270 nm and an average length of ∼700 nm, and the negatively charged HHMs can absorb positively charged Lysozyme (Lyso) to form the HHMs-Lyso composites through electrostatic interaction. These naturally derived biodegradable nanostructures act as exogenous killers to eliminate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection with a high antibacterial efficacy (97.19 ± 2.39%) by synergistic action of photothermy and "Lyso-assisted anti-infection" in vivo. Additionally, HHMs also serve as endogenous regulators of collagen alpha chain proteins through the "protein digestion and absorption" signaling pathway to promote tissue reconstruction, which was confirmed by quantitative proteomic analysis in vivo. Notably, the 13 upregulated collagen alpha chain proteins in the extracellular matrix (ECM) after HHMs treatment demonstrated that keratin from HHMs in collagen-dependent regulatory processes serves as a notable contributor to augmented wound closure. The current paradigm of natural material-tissue interaction regulates the cell-ECM interaction by targeting cell signaling pathways to accelerate tissue repair. This work may provide insight into the protein-level pathways and the potential mechanisms involved in tissue repair.

Keywords: antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections; biodegradable; collagen alpha chain proteins; human hair; tissue repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Melanosomes / drug effects
  • Methicillin / chemistry
  • Methicillin / pharmacology
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Muramidase / chemistry
  • Muramidase / pharmacology
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Nanostructures / therapeutic use
  • Phototherapy*
  • Proteomics*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / genetics
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / pathology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • Wound Healing / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Muramidase
  • Methicillin