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Phage Consultants contributes to phage proteins nanomaterials study

news-releasesPhage Consultants
July 30th 2020

Gdansk, Poland: – Specialist Polish-based CRO Phage Consultants (PC) has contributed its bacteriophage expertise to a new study highlighting potential use of phage proteins as building blocks for nanoscale protein materials, which can in turn be used as drug or vaccine carriers of clinical importance.

Phage Consultants CEO Dr. Marcin Los is one of the authors of the study “Engineering Protein Nanoparticles Out from Components of the Human Microbiome”, lead authored by Dr. Hèctor López‐Laguna, supported by fellow researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Independent University of Barcelona.

The article, published in the Wiley Online Library, shows the links between phage proteins derived from the human microbiome and nanomaterial development with huge potential for the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Phage protein expertise

Dr. Los was recruited to the research project for his in-depth expertise in bacteriophage science and phage proteins, which meant he was able to contribute to the study design.

The study focuses on nanoscale protein materials as highly convenient vehicles for targeted drug delivery because of their structural and functional versatility.

Selective binding to specific cell surface receptors and penetration into target cells require the use of targeting peptides. The challenge is to incorporate such homing stretches into larger proteins that do not interact with body components, to prevent undesired drug release into nontarget organs. Phage-derived proteins meet these criteria and function efficiently as delivery vectors, the study shows.

Nanoscale delivery vehicles 

Phage proteins derived from the human microbiome, featuring low interactivity with human body components and tolerated immunogenicity, make appealing potential fully biocompatible building blocks for the biofabrication of nonreactive, inert protein materials at nanoscale.

The study describes how several phage and phage‐like bacterial proteins with natural structural roles could be produced in Escherichia coli as polyhistidine‐tagged recombinant proteins, ready for organization as discrete, nanoscale particulate materials.

While all of them self‐assembled in a variety of sizes, the stability of the resulting constructs at 37 °C was found to be severely compromised. However, the fine adjustment of temperature and concentration of Zinc ion (Zn2+) allowed formation of robust nanomaterials, fully stable in complex media and under physiological conditions. Then, microbiome‐derived proteins show promise for the regulatable construction of scaffold protein nanomaterials, which can be tailored and strengthened by simple physicochemical approaches.

Novel delivery strategies

Dr. Los commented: “Our findings are of great interest to pre-clinical researchers, drug discovery and delivery specialists and medical engineers working with pharmaceutical companies who can now employ phage-based technologies for development of novel drugs, vaccines, or imaging agents, or for novel delivery strategies for their existing products.”

“At Phage Consultants, we can help customers to design similar technologies based on phage proteins, in both commercial and clinical settings.” he added.

About Phage Consultants

Phage Consultants is a contract research and manufacturing organization that specializes in bacteriophage detection and characterization and production.

Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that infect bacteria. First discovered around 1915, phages played an important role in understanding viral biology, for example in elucidating viral reproduction in lytic and lysogenic cycles. They have been used for almost a century as alternatives to antibiotics and can have therapeutic effect against multi-drug-resistant strains of many bacteria.

Founded in Gdansk, Poland, in 2007, PC has become a world leader in using the power of bacteriophage technology in bioprocess infection and contamination control and assisting companies whose production is based on microbial activities in preventing bacteriophage contamination, along with bacterial, fungal and viral contaminations.

Phage Consultants is also a team specialist in the field of bacteriophage biology with specific expertise in phage activity in bioprocesses. The team provides unique assistance to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, offering a range of services from personal training to consulting and process optimization in phage growth limitation. The company also advises and assists clients in the development of new production facilities.

Resources

Click on Engineering Protein Nanoparticles Out from Components of the Human Microbiome to access the full article.

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