Open Access Research article

Lytic activity of the virion-associated peptidoglycan hydrolase HydH5 of Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage vB_SauS-phiIPLA88

Lorena Rodríguez1, Beatriz Martínez1, Yuan Zhou2, Ana Rodríguez1, David M Donovan3 and Pilar García1*

Author affiliations

1 Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA-CSIC). Apdo. 85. 33300- Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain

2 State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

3 Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Lab, ANRI, ARS, USDA, 10300 Baltimore Ave, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350

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Citation and License

BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:138  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-138

Published: 17 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Staphylococcus aureus is a food-borne pathogen and the most common cause of infections in hospitalized patients. The increase in the resistance of this pathogen to antibacterials has made necessary the development of new anti-staphylococcal agents. In this context, bacteriophage lytic enzymes such as endolysins and structural peptidoglycan (PG) hydrolases have received considerable attention as possible antimicrobials against gram-positive bacteria.

Results

S. aureus bacteriophage vB_SauS-phiIPLA88 (phiIPLA88) contains a virion-associated muralytic enzyme (HydH5) encoded by orf58, which is located in the morphogenetic module. Comparative bioinformatic analysis revealed that HydH5 significantly resembled other peptidoglycan hydrolases encoded by staphylococcal phages. The protein consists of 634 amino acid residues. Two putative lytic domains were identified: an N-terminal CHAP (cysteine, histidine-dependent amidohydrolase/peptidase) domain (135 amino acid residues), and a C-terminal LYZ2 (lysozyme subfamily 2) domain (147 amino acid residues). These domains were also found when a predicted three-dimensional structure of HydH5 was made which provided the basis for deletion analysis. The complete HydH5 protein and truncated proteins containing only each catalytic domain were overproduced in E. coli and purified from inclusion bodies by subsequent refolding. Truncated and full-length HydH5 proteins were all able to bind and lyse S. aureus Sa9 cells as shown by binding assays, zymogram analyses and CFU reduction analysis. HydH5 demonstrated high antibiotic activity against early exponential cells, at 45°C and in the absence of divalent cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Mn2+). Thermostability assays showed that HydH5 retained 72% of its activity after 5 min at 100°C.

Conclusions

The virion-associated PG hydrolase HydH5 has lytic activity against S. aureus, which makes it attractive as antimicrobial for food biopreservation and anti-staphylococcal therapy.