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Packaging of Diisopropyl Fluorophosphatase (DFPase) in Bacterial Outer Membrane Vesicles Protects Its Activity at Extreme Temperature

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journal contribution
posted on 14.01.2022, 23:13 by Meghna Thakur, Scott N. Dean, Martin Moore, Joseph R. Spangler, Brandy J. Johnson, Igor L. Medintz, Scott A. Walper
Enzymatic decontamination of organophosphate compounds offers a biofriendly pathway to the neutralization of highly dangerous compounds. Environmental dissemination of enzymes, however, is an ongoing problem considering the costly process of production and chemical modification for stability that can diminish catalytic activity. As a result, there is interest in the potential for enzymatic encapsulation in situ or into nascent bacterial membrane vesicles to improve catalytic stability across various environmental challenges associated with storage and field deployment. In this study, we have engineered bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) to encapsulate the diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase), an enzyme originally isolated from squid Loligo vulgaris and capable of hydrolyzing diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) and other organophosphates compounds. Here we employed a recombinant lipopeptide anchor to direct recruitment of DFPase into OMVs, which were isolated from culture media and tested for catalytic activity against both diisopropyl fluorophosphate and paraoxon. Our encapsulation strategy prevented the loss of catalytic activity despite lyophilization, extended storage time (2 days), and extreme temperatures up to 80 °C. These data underscore the appeal of DFPase as a biodecontaminant of organophosphates as well as the potential for OMV packaging in stabilized field deployment applications.