Modular Assembly of Unique Chimeric Lytic Enzymes on a Protein Scaffold Possessing Anti-Staphylococcal Activity

Biomacromolecules. 2019 Oct 14;20(10):4035-4043. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.9b01134. Epub 2019 Sep 26.


Lytic enzymes have been considered as potential alternatives to antibiotics. These enzymes, particularly those that target Gram-positive bacteria, consist of modular cell wall-binding and catalytic domains, which can be shuffled with those of other lytic enzymes to produce unnatural chimeric enzymes. In this work, we report the in vitro shuffling of two different modular domains using a protein self-assembly methodology. Catalytic domains (CD) and cell wall-binding domains (BD) from the bacteriocin lysostaphin (Lst) and a putative autolysin from Staphylococcus aureus (SA1), respectively, were genetically site-specifically biotinylated and assembled with streptavidin to generate 23 permuted chimeras. The specific assembly of a CD (3 equiv) and a BD (1 equiv) from Lst and SA1, respectively [CDL-BDS (3:1)], on a streptavidin scaffold yielded high lytic activity against S. aureus (at least 5.6 log reduction), which was higher than that obtained with either native Lst or SA1 alone. Moreover, at 37 °C, the initial rate of cell lysis was over 3-fold higher than that with free Lst, thereby revealing the unique catalytic properties of the chimeric proteins. In vitro self-assembly of functional domains from modular lytic enzymes on a protein scaffold likely expands the repertoire of bactericidal enzymes with improved activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catalytic Domain / drug effects
  • Cell Wall / drug effects
  • Chimera
  • Lysostaphin / chemistry
  • Lysostaphin / pharmacokinetics
  • N-Acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine Amidase / chemistry
  • N-Acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine Amidase / pharmacology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Lysostaphin
  • N-Acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine Amidase