1.M.16. The Phage Disruptin (Disruptin) Family
Lysis of Gram-negative bacteria by dsDNA phages is accomplished through either the canonical holin-endolysin pathway or the pinholin-SAR endolysin pathway. During lysis, the outer membrane (OM) is disrupted, typically by two-component spanins or unimolecular spanins. However, in the absence of spanins, phages use alternative proteins called Disruptin to disrupt the OM. The Disruptin family includes the cationic antimicrobial peptide gp28, which is found in the virulent podophage φKT. In this study, EPR spectroscopy was used to analyze the dynamics and topology of gp28 incorporated into a lipid bilayer, revealing differences in mobility, depth parameter, and membrane interaction among different segments and residues of the protein. Results indicate that multiple points of helix 2 and helix 3 interact with the phospholipid membrane, while others are solvent-exposed, suggesting that gp28 is a surface-bound peptide. The CW-EPR power saturation data and helical wheel analysis confirmed the amphipathic-helical structure of gp28. Additionally, course-grain molecular dynamics simulations were further used to develop the structural model of the gp28 peptide associated with the lipid bilayers. Based on the data obtained, a structural topology model for gp28 with respect to the membrane has been proposed.
Most phages of Gram-negative hosts encode spanins for disruption of the outer membrane, the last step in host lysis. However, bioinformatic analysis indicates that ∼15% of these phages lack a spanin gene, suggesting they have an alternate way of disrupting the OM. Holt et al. 2021 showed that the T7-like coliphage phiKT causes the explosive cell lysis associated with spanin activity despite not encoding spanins. A putative lysis cassette cloned from the phiKT late gene region includes the hypothetical novel gene 28 located between the holin and endolysin genes and supports inducible lysis in E. coli K-12. Moreover, induction of an isogenic construct lacking gene 28 resulted in divalent cation-stabilized spherical cells rather than lysis, implicating gp28 in OM disruption. Additionally, gp28 was shown to complement the lysis defect of a spanin-null λ lysogen. Gene 28 encodes a 56-amino acid cationic protein with predicted amphipathic helical structure and is membrane-associated after lysis (Holt et al. 2021). Disruptin, a cell-penetrating peptide degrader of EGFR, is a cell-penetrating peptide that can be used in cancer therapy (Mehta et al. 2021). It acts both by inhibiting Hsp90 chaperoning and dissociating the active asymmetric EGFR (epiderman growth factor receptor) dimer, which leads to an increase in engagement of activated EGFR with the proteolytic degradation machinery and subsequent loss from the cells. Disruptin is an N-terminally biotinylated nonadecapeptide, with 8 amino acids from the αC-helix-β4 sheet loop of EGFR (S767-C774) fused to a TAT undecapeptide (Mehta et al. 2021).