• Identification and characterisation of capidermicin, a novel bacteriocin produced by Staphylococcus capitis

      Lynch, David; O’Connor, Paula M.; Cotter, Paul D.; Hill, Colin; Field, Des; Begley, Máire; Cork Institute of Technology RISAM PhD scholarship (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2019-10-16)
      One hundred human-derived coagulase negative staphylococci (CoNS) were screened for antimicrobial activity using agar-based deferred antagonism assays with a range of indicator bacteria. Based on the findings of the screen and subsequent well assays with cell free supernatants and whole cell extracts, one strain, designated CIT060, was selected for further investigation. It was identified as Staphylococcus capitis and herein we describe the purification and characterisation of the novel bacteriocin that the strain produces. This bacteriocin which we have named capidermicin was extracted from the cell-free supernatant of S. capitis CIT060 and purified to homogeneity using reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometric (MS) analysis revealed that the capidermicin peptide has a mass of 5,464 Da. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) experiments showed that capidermicin was active in the micro-molar range against all the Gram-positive bacteria that were tested. Antimicrobial activity was retained over a range of pHs (2–11) and temperatures (10–121°C x 15 mins). The draft genome sequence of S. capitis CIT060 was determined and the genes predicted to be involved in the biosynthesis of capidermicin were identified. These genes included the predicted capidermicin precursor gene, and genes that are predicted to encode a membrane transporter, an immunity protein and a transcriptional regulator. Homology searches suggest that capidermicin is a novel member of the family of class II leaderless bacteriocins.
    • Potential Use of Biotherapeutic Bacteria to Target Colorectal Cancer-Associated Taxa

      Lawrence, Garreth W.; Begley, Máire; Cotter, Paul D.; Guinane, Caitriona M. (MDPI AG, 2020-01-30)
      The role of the gut microbiome in human health and disease is the focus of much attention. It has been widely agreed upon that our gut bacteria play a role in host immunity, nutrient absorption, digestion, metabolism, and other key drivers of health. Furthermore, certain microbial signatures and specific taxa have also been associated with the development of diseases, such as obesity; inflammatory bowel disease; and, indeed, colorectal cancer (CRC), which is the focus of this review. By extension, such taxa represent potential therapeutic targets. In particular, the emerging human pathogen Fusobacterium nucleatum represents an important agent in CRC development and its control within the gastrointestinal tract is desirable. This paper reviews the principal bacterial pathogens that have been associated with CRC to date and discusses the in vitro and human studies that have shown the potential use of biotherapeutic strains as a means of targeting CRC-associated bacteria.