Borrelia burgdorferi glycosaminoglycan-binding proteins: A potential target for new therapeutics against Lyme disease

Yi Pin Lin, Lingyun Li, Fuming Zhang, Robert J. Linhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in Europe and the United States. The spirochetes can be transmitted to humans via ticks, and then spread to different tissues, leading to arthritis, carditis and neuroborreliosis. Although antibiotics have commonly been used to treat infected individuals, some treated patients do not respond to antibiotics and experience persistent, long-term arthritis. Thus, there is a need to investigate alternative therapeutics against Lyme disease. The spirochete bacterium colonization is partly attributed to the binding of the bacterial outer-surface proteins to the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains of host proteoglycans. Blocking the binding of these proteins to GAGs is a potential strategy to prevent infection. In this review, we have summarized the recent reports of B. burgdorferi sensu lato GAG-binding proteins and discussed the potential use of synthetic and semi-synthetic compounds, including GAG analogues, to block pathogen interaction with GAGs. Such information should motivate the discovery and development of novel GAG analogues as new therapeutics for Lyme disease. New therapeutic approaches should eventually reduce the burden of Lyme disease and improve human health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000571
Pages (from-to)1759-1766
Number of pages8
JournalMicrobiology (United Kingdom)
Volume163
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adhesin
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Glycosaminoglycan
  • Heparin
  • Lyme disease
  • Proteoglycan

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