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Microbiological Research
Volume 257, 2022, 126963

Anti-CRISPR proteins as a therapeutic agent against drug-resistant bacteria

Pallavi Vyas, Harish

Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Botany, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, 313 001, Rajasthan, India.


The continuous deployment of various antibiotics to treat multiple serious bacterial infections leads to multidrug resistance among the bacterial population. It has failed the standard treatment strategies through different antibacterial agents and serves as a significant threat to public health worldwide at devastating levels. The discovery of anti-CRISPR proteins catches the interest of researchers around the world as a promising therapeutic agent against drug-resistant bacteria. Anti-CRISPR proteins are known to inhibit bacterial CRISPR-Cas defense systems in multiple possible ways. The CRISPR-Cas nucleoprotein assembly provides adaptive immunity in bacteria against diverse categories of phage infections. Parallelly, phages also try to break the CRISPR-Cas barrier by producing anti-CRISPR proteins, leading to growth inhibition and bacterial lysis. This review begins with a brief description of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas system, followed by a detailed portrayal of anti-CRISPR proteins, including their discovery and evolution, mechanism of action, regulation of expression, and potential applications in the healthcare sector as an alternative therapeutic strategy to combat severe bacterial infections.

Keywords: Acrs, Bacteriophages, CRISPR-Cas system, Multidrug resistance, Phage therapy.

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