Creative lysins: Listeria and the engineering of antimicrobial enzymes

Maxwell L. Van Tassell, M. Angela Daum, Jun Seob Kim, Michael J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cell wall lytic enzymes have been of increasing interest as antimicrobials for targeting Gram-positive spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, largely due to the development of strains resistant to antibiotics and bacteriophage therapy. Such lysins show considerable promise against Listeria monocytogenes, a primary concern in food-processing environments, but there is room for improvement via protein engineering. Advances in antilisterial applications could benefit from recent developments in lysin biotechnology that have largely targeted other organisms. Herein we present various considerations for the future development of lysins, including environmental factors, cell physiology concerns, and dynamics of protein architecture. Our goal is to review key developments in lysin biotechnology to provide a contextual framework for the current models of lysin-cell interactions and highlight key considerations for the characterization and design of novel lytic enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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