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Engineering Escherichia coli to bind to cyanobacteria

Zhang, Zijian, Meng, Liuyi, Ni, Congjian, Yao, Lanqiu, Zhang, Fengyu, Jin, Yuji, Mu, Xuelang, Zhu, Shiyu, Lu, Xiaoyu, Liu, Shiyu, Yu, Congyu, Wang, Chenggong, Zheng, Pu, Wu, Jie, Kang, Li, Zhang, Haoqian M., Ouyang, Qi
Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 2017 v.123 no.3 pp. 347-352
Escherichia coli, Microcystis aeruginosa, adhesion, gene expression, ice nucleation, lectins, models
We engineered Escherichia coli cells to bind to cyanobacteria by heterologously producing and displaying lectins of the target cyanobacteria on their surface. To prove the efficacy of our approach, we tested this design on Microcystis aeruginosa with microvirin (Mvn), the lectin endogenously produced by this cyanobacterium. The coding sequence of Mvn was C-terminally fused to the ice nucleation protein NC (INPNC) gene and expressed in E. coli. Results showed that E. coli cells expressing the INPNC::Mvn fusion protein were able to bind to M. aeruginosa and the average number of E. coli cells bound to each cyanobacterial cell was enhanced 8-fold. Finally, a computational model was developed to simulate the binding reaction and help reconstruct the binding parameters. To our best knowledge, this is the first report on the binding of two organisms in liquid culture mediated by the surface display of lectins and it may serve as a novel approach to mediate microbial adhesion.