Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Antibacterial Short Peptides Mediated by Toxin/Anti-toxin Mechanism

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

E. coli mazEF-mediated cell death is a quorum sensing process that involves a signal peptide molecule that termed the Extracellular Death Factor (EDF). Unlike the previously discovered quorum sensing factors of E. coli, homoserine lactones and AI-2, EDF is a peptide. EDF is an integral part of the E. coli mazEF-mediated cell death program.
Project ID : 12-2006-612

Description of the technology

Peptide-Based Induction of Bacterial Cell Death

Categories

Antibacterial, Antibiotic, Sterilization

Expected Impact

The invention brings a new modality of anti-bacterial treatment as a stand-alone therapy or combined with antibiotics

The Application

  • The bacterial toxin MazF induces bacterial cell death by triggering downstream death pathways. The labile anti-toxin MazE is constantly synthesized by bacteria and inactivates MazF by sequestering it.
  • Several antibiotics, such as rifampicin, chloramphenicol, mitomycin C act by affecting the MazF/MazE balance.

Innovation Highlights

  • The invention is based on the recently discovered Extracellular Death Factor (EDF). EDF is a secreted bacterial pentapeptide which induces MazF-mediated cell death. EDF is the only naturally-occurring peptide known to act as a ‘quorum sensing' DEATH factor.
  • EDF target bacteria includes different E.coli strains. Staphylicoccus aureus, Psedomonas aeruginosa, and Bacillus subtilis EDF-like factors are under current research.
  • The innovation concerns also EDF antagonists, which may confer antibiotic sensitivity by inducing mazEF plasmid loss.
  • EDF-based antibacterial composition may be used for sterilizing as well as for pharmaceutical purposes.
  • Possibility of modifying the EDF original sequence by the addition of amino acids and other moieties, thus improving physiological properties and allowing different administration modes.

Current Development Stage

Proof of concept established in different E.coli strains.

The Opportunity

  • The list of conditions induced by potentially EDF-targeted bacteria includes: diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhagic colitis, pyogenic infection, abscesses, septicaemia, pneumonia, meningitis, lung infection, cystic fibrosis.
  • EDF-based compounds provide a new and specific venue to induce bacterial cell death.

Project manager

Mel Larrosa
VP Business Development Healthcare

Project researchers

Hanna Engelberg-Kulka
HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

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About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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