ChemBioChem 2023, 24, e202300191
Chemical cell surface modification is a fast-growing field of research, due to its enormous potential in tissue engineering, cell-based immunotherapy, and regenerative medicine. However, engineering of bacterial tissues by chemical cell surface modification has been vastly underexplored and the identification of suitable molecular handles is in dire need. We present here, an orthogonal nucleic acid-protein conjugation strategy to promote artificial bacterial aggregation. This system gathers the high selectivity and stability of linkage to a protein Tag expressed at the cell surface and the modularity and reversibility of aggregation due to oligonucleotide hybridization. For the first time, XNA (xeno nucleic acids in the form of 1,5-anhydrohexitol nucleic acids) were immobilized via covalent, SNAP-tag-mediated interactions on cell surfaces to induce bacterial aggregation.