Characterization of lytic enzyme open reading frame 9 (ORF9) derived from enterococcus faecalis bacteriophage φEF24C

Jumpei Uchiyama, Iyo Takemura, Ikue Hayashi, Shigenobu Matsuzaki, Miho Satoh, Takako Ujihara, Masanao Murakami, Masayuki Imajoh, Motoyuki Sugai, Masanori Daibata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In bacteriophage (phage) therapy against Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis, members of a genus of SPO1-like viruses are typically employed because of their extreme virulence and broad host spectrum. Phage φEF24C, which is a SPO1-like virus infecting E. faecalis, has previously been characterized as a therapeutic phage candidate. In addition to the phage itself, phage endolysin is also recognized as an effective antimicrobial agent. In this study, a putative endolysin gene (orf9) of E. faecalis phage φEF24C was analyzed in silico, and its activity was characterized using the recombinant form. First, bioinformatics analysis predicted that the open reading frame 9 (ORF9) protein is N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase. Second, bacteriolytic and bactericidal activities of ORF9 against E. faecalis were confirmed by zymography, decrease of peptidoglycan turbidity, decrease of the viable count, and morphological analysis of ORF9-treated cells. Third, ORF9 did not appear to require Zn 2+ ions for its activity, contrary to the bioinformatics prediction of a Zn2+ ion requirement. Fourth, the lytic spectrum was from 97.1% (34 out of 35 strains, including vancomycin-resistant strains) of E. faecalis strains to 60% (6 out of 10 strains) of Enterococcus faecium strains. Fifth, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase activity of ORF9 was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and the subsequent MALDI-postsource decay (PSD) analyses. Finally, functional analysis using N- or C-terminally deleted ORF9 mutants suggested that a complete ORF9 molecule is essential for its activity. These results suggested that ORF9 is an endolysin of phage φEF24C and can be a therapeutic alternative to antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-585
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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