Viruses, Vol. 11, Pages 869: Bacterial Virus Lambda Gpd-Fusions to Cathelicidins, ?- and ?-Defensins, and Disease-Specific Epitopes Evaluated for Antimicrobial Toxicity and Ability to Support Phage Display (Viruses)
We showed that antimicrobial polypeptides, when translated as gene fusions to the bacteriophage lambda capsid decoration protein gpD, formed highly toxic molecules within E. coli, suggesting that they can retain their antimicrobial activity conformation when fused to gpD. These include gpD-fusions to human and porcine cathelicidins LL37 and PR39, β-defensins HBD3 and DEFB126-Δ (deleted for its many COOH-terminal glycosylation sites), and α-defensin HD5. Antimicrobial toxicity was only observed when the peptides were displayed from the COOH-terminal, and not the NH2-terminal end, of gpD. This suggests that COOH-terminal displayed polypeptides of gpD-fusions can more readily form an active-state conformation than when they are displayed from the NH2-terminal end of gpD. The high toxicity of the COOH-displayed gpD-defensins suggests either that the fused defensin peptides can be oxidized, forming three correct intramolecular disulfide bonds within the cytosol of bacterial cells, or that the versions without disulfide bonds are highly toxigenic. We showed the high efficiency of displaying single epitope 17 amino-acid fusions to gpD on LDP (lambda display particles), even when the gpD-fusion protein was toxic. The efficient formation of high display density LDP, displaying a single disease specific epitope (DSE), suggests the utility of LDP-DSE constructs for use as single epitope vaccines (SEV).