Isolation and characterization of Lactobacillus-derived membrane vesicles
Bacterial membrane vesicles have been implicated in a broad range of functions in microbial communities from pathogenesis to gene transfer. Though first thought to be a phenomenon associated with Gram-negative bacteria, vesicle production in Staphylococcus aureus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and other Gram-positives has recently been described. Given that many Lactobacillus species are Generally Regarded as Safe and often employed as probiotics, the engineering of Lactobacillus membrane vesicles presents a new avenue for the development of therapeutics and vaccines. Here we characterize and compare the membrane vesicles (MVs) from three different Lactobacillus species (L. acidophilus ATCC 53544, L. casei ATCC 393, and L. reuteri ATCC 23272), with the aim of developing future strategies for vesicle engineering. We characterize the vesicles from each Lactobacillus species comparing the physiochemical properties and protein composition of each. More than 80 protein components from Lactobacillus-derived MVs were identified, including some that were enriched in the vesicles themselves suggesting vesicles as a vehicle for antimicrobial delivery. Additionally, for each species vesicular proteins were categorized based on biological pathway and examined for subcellular localization signals in an effort to identify possible sorting mechanisms for MV proteins.