Improvement and efficient display of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins on M13 phages and ribosomes

Abstract : Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces insecticidal proteins that have been used worldwide in the control of insect-pests in crops and vectors of human diseases. However, different insect species are poorly controlled by the available Bt toxins or have evolved resistance to these toxins. Evolution of Bt toxicity could provide novel toxins to control insect pests. To this aim, efficient display systems to select toxins with increased binding to insect membranes or midgut proteins involved in toxicity are likely to be helpful. Here we describe two display systems, phage display and ribosome display, that allow the efficient display of two non-structurally related Bt toxins, Cry1Ac and Cyt1Aa. Improved display of Cry1Ac and Cyt1Aa on M13 phages was achieved by changing the commonly used peptide leader sequence of the coat pIII-fusion protein, that relies on the Sec translocation pathway, for a peptide leader sequence that relies on the signal recognition particle pathway (SRP) and by using a modified M13 helper phage (Phaberge) that has an amber mutation in its pIII genomic sequence and preferentially assembles using the pIII-fusion protein. Also, both Cry1Ac and Cyt1Aa were efficiently displayed on ribosomes, which could allow the construction of large libraries of variants. Furthermore, Cry1Ac or Cyt1Aa displayed on M13 phages or ribosomes were specifically selected from a mixture of both toxins depending on which antigen was immobilized for binding selection. These improved systems may allow the selection of Cry toxin variants with improved insecticidal activities that could counter insect resistances.
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Sabino Pacheco, Emiliano Cantón, Fernando Zuñiga‑navarrete, Frédéric Pecorari, Alejandra Bravo, et al.. Improvement and efficient display of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins on M13 phages and ribosomes. AMB Express, Springer Nature, 2015, 5 (1), pp.73. ⟨10.1186/s13568-015-0160-1⟩. ⟨inserm-01819791⟩

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