Phage proteins

Binding Tailspike Proteins

Bacteriophages recognize their host via proteins that bind to certain sugar or protein structures on the surface of the bacteria. These phage proteins are very stable; some of them require heating at temperatures above 90°C to destroy their three-dimensional structure. Phage proteins, at the same time, have binding affinities comparable to good monoclonal antibodies. These properties allow bacteriophages to withstand harsh environmental conditions, to wait for the next opportunity to infect new host bacteria.


To be efficiently released from the bacterial cell at the end of the phage reproduction cycle, bacteriophages encode enzymes (endolysins) to efficiently disrupt the bacterial cell. Hyglos makes use of such endolysins, for example for the targeted destruction of MRSA.