Mycobacteriophage endolysins: diverse and modular enzymes with multiple catalytic activities.
The mycobacterial cell wall presents significant challenges to mycobacteriophages--viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts--because of its unusual structure containing a mycolic acid-rich mycobacterial outer membrane attached to an arabinogalactan layer that is in turn linked to the peptidoglycan. Although little is known about how mycobacteriophages circumvent these barriers during the process of infection, destroying it for lysis at the end of their lytic cycles requires an unusual set of functions. These include Lysin B proteins that cleave the linkage of mycolic acids to the arabinogalactan layer, chaperones required for endolysin delivery to peptidoglycan, holins that regulate lysis timing, and the endolysins (Lysin As) that hydrolyze peptidoglycan. Because mycobacterial peptidoglycan contains atypical features including 3→3 interpeptide linkages, it is not surprising that the mycobacteriophage endolysins also have non-canonical features. We present here a bioinformatic dissection of these lysins and show that they are highly diverse and extensively modular, with an impressive number of domain organizations. Most contain three domains with a novel N-terminal predicted peptidase, a centrally located amidase, muramidase, or transglycosylase, and a C-terminal putative cell wall binding domain.
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
SourcePloS one 7:3 2012 pg e34052
MeSHAmino Acid Sequence
Molecular Sequence Data
Protein Structure, Tertiary
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural