Extracellular DNA as a target for biofilm control
•eDNA is a key component of the biofilm matrix of most bacteria.•DNase inhibits biofilm formation and disperses young biofilms.•DNase treatment can sensitize biofilms to antibiotics.•Cheaper DNase production could be pursued through bacterial extracellular nucleases.•eDNA can be targeted by destabilizing eDNA's interaction with other matrix components.
Bacterial biofilms endure high concentrations of biocides, and new strategies for biofilm control must therefore replace or complement the use of antibiotics, for example, by targeting the extracellular matrix to cause dispersal or increased antimicrobial susceptibility. Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is a matrix component of most biofilms, and is therefore an attractive target. Enzymatic degradation of eDNA can prevent, disperse, or sensitize biofilm to antimicrobials, but cheaper production is required to realize large-scale application. Replacing mammalian DNase with bacterial nucleases could offer a path to lower production costs. Alternatively, eDNA could be targeted by disrupting its interactions with other matrix components. As new knowledge about eDNA-binding matrix components comes to light, exciting opportunities for targeting the biofilm matrix via eDNA are emerging.
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Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 33, June 2015, Pages 73–80