What is it about?
Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are oxidative enzymes that use electrons together with oxygen or peroxide to dissolve chemical bonds and break down long carbohydrate chains such as cellulose found in plants or chitin found in crab shells. Recently, UC San Diego (UCSD) researchers collaborated with colleagues in Norway to show that an LPMO enzyme produced by the leading human bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can protect against lethal pneumonia and sepsis in mice when used as a vaccine antigen. The research findings are published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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Why is it important?
The discovery of LPMOs in 2010 launched a new field within carbohydrate biochemistry and created intensive study devoted to potential industrial applications in biomass conversion. However, a 2019 paper spearheaded by Fatemeh Askarian, PhD, UC San Diego Assistant Project Scientist in the UCSD Department of Pediatrics, showed that P. aeruginosa produced an LPMO, called chitin binding protein D (CbpD), that was required for it to produce disease in experimental mouse models. This unexpected and intriguing finding held medical significance, since P. aeruginosa causes serious and sometimes life-threatening infections in hospitalized or immunocompromised patients, including those with cystic fibrosis lung disease or undergoing cancer chemotherapy.
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This page is a summary of: Immunization with lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase CbpD induces protective immunity against
pneumonia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2301538120.
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