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Poly-L-Lysine compacts DNA, kills bacteria, and improves protease inhibition in cystic fibrosis sputum.

American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine (2013-08-21)
Alice V Dubois, Patrick Midoux, Delphine Gras, Mustapha Si-Tahar, Déborah Bréa, Sylvie Attucci, Mustapha-Kamel Khelloufi, Reuben Ramphal, Patrice Diot, Francis Gauthier, Virginie Hervé
ABSTRACT

Neutrophil serine proteases in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung secretions partially resist inhibition by natural and exogenous inhibitors, mostly because DNA impairs their control. Cationic polypeptides display the property of condensing DNA and retain antimicrobial properties. We hypothesized that DNA condensation by cationic polypeptides in CF sputum would result in a better control of CF inflammation and infection. We examined whether poly-L-lysine would compact DNA in CF lung secretions and liquefy CF sputum, improve the control of extracellular proteases by exogenous inhibitors, and whether it displays antibacterial properties toward CF-associated bacteria. We used fluorogenic methods to measure proteolytic activities and inhibition by protease inhibitors in whole sputum homogenates from patients with CF before and after treatment with poly-L-lysine. Antibacterial properties of poly-L-lysine were measured in bacterial cultures and in whole CF sputum. Poly-L-lysine toxicity was evaluated after aerosolization by histologic analysis, flow cytometry, and quantification of proinflammatory cytokines. Poly-L-lysine compacts CF sputum DNA, generating a liquid phase that improves ciliary beating frequency at the lung epithelial surface, and allows the control of neutrophil elastase and cathepsin G by their natural inhibitors. It retains antimicrobial properties against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus at doses that induce no inflammation in the mouse lung after aerosol administration. Poly-L-lysine may be an alternative to dornase-α to liquefy sputum with added benefits because it helps natural inhibitors to better control the deleterious effects of extracellularly released neutrophil serine proteases and has the ability to kill bacteria in CF sputum.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Elastase from human leukocytes, lyophilized powder, ≥50 units/mg protein (Bradford)
Sigma-Aldrich
Cathepsin G from human leukocytes, lyophilized powder, ≥60 units/mg protein (Bradford)
Sigma-Aldrich
Cathepsin G from human sputum, ≥0.2 units/mg protein, salt-free, lyophilized powder