3 years ago

Modular domain swapping among the bacterial cytotoxic necrotizing factor (CNF) family for efficient cargo delivery into mammalian cells.

Brenda A Wilson, Mengfei Ho, Elizabeth E Haywood
Modular AB-type bacterial protein toxins target mammalian host cells with high specificity and deliver their toxic cargo into the cytosol. Hence, these toxins are being explored as agents for targeted cytosolic delivery in biomedical and research applications. The cytotoxic necrotizing factor (CNF) family is unique among these toxins in that their homologous sequences are found in a wide array of bacteria, and their activity domains are packaged in various delivery systems. Here, to study how CNF cargo and delivery modules can be assembled for efficient cytosolic delivery, we generated chimeric toxins by swapping functional domains among CNF1, CNF2, CNF3 and CNFy. Chimeras with a CNFy delivery vehicle were more stably expressed, but were less efficient at cargo delivery into HEK293-T cells. We also found that CNFy cargo is the most universally compatible and that CNF3 delivery vehicle is the most flexible and efficient at delivering cargo. These findings suggest that domains within proteins can be swapped and accommodate each other for efficient function, and that an individual domain could be engineered for compatibility with multiple partner domains. We anticipate that our insights could help inform chemical biology approaches to develop toxin-based cargo-delivery platforms for cytosolic cargo delivery of therapeutics or molecular probes into mammalian cells.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA117.001381

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.001381

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