1 Biocomplexity, The Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Biocomplexity, The Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Implications for Bioanalysis
Functional reconstitution of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin vaginolysin (VLY) from Gardnerella vaginalis into artificial tethered bilayer membranes (tBLMs) has been accomplished. The reconstitution of VLY was followed in real-time by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Changes of the EIS parameters of the tBLMs upon exposure to VLY solutions were consistent with the formation of water-filled pores in the membranes. It was found that reconstitution of VLY is a strictly cholesterol-dependent, irreversible process. At a constant cholesterol concentration reconstitution of VLY occurred in a concentration-dependent manner, thus allowing the monitoring of VLY concentration and activity in vitro and opening possibilities for tBLM utilization in bioanalysis. EIS methodology allowed us to detect VLY down to 0.5 nM (28 ng/mL) concentration. Inactivation of VLY by certain amino acid substitutions led to noticeably lesser tBLM damage. Pre-incubation of VLY with the neutralizing monoclonal antibody 9B4 inactivated the VLY membrane damage in a concentration-dependent manner, while the non-neutralizing antibody 21A5 exhibited no effect. These findings demonstrate the biological relevance of the interaction between VLY and the tBLM. The membrane-damaging interaction between VLY and tBLM was observed in the absence of the human CD59 receptor, known to strongly facilitate the hemolytic activity of VLY. Taken together, our study demonstrates the applicability of tBLMs as a bioanalytical platform for the detection of the activity of VLY and possibly other cholesterol-dependent cytolysins.