Ben-Yehuda Sigal, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
ELBAZ Maya, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC

An efficient way to create DNA-Less bacterial (Bacillus subtilis) Cells (DLCS) by inducing a powerful endonuclease called YqcG



Development Stage

In vitro proof of concept; in vivo POC

Patent Status

Provisional patent application filed


  • We developed an efficient strategy to induce the formation of the endonuclease YqcG within bacterial cells.
  • Within minutes following induction, 99.98% of the cells lose their genetic information and become DNA-less cells (DLCs).
  • We found that these cells remain intact and are able to sustain homeostasis as well as essential cellular activities for hours.

Our Innovation

  • Production of DLCs by inducing the endonuclease YqcG, and the findings that DLCs can maintain basic cellular activities hours after chromosomal loss.  
  • Clinical Implications:
  • The ability of DLCs to perform sophisticated cellular activities brings about the possibility of utilizing a similar approach for generating DLCs from pathogenic bacteria as a potential vaccination strategy.
  • DLCs derived from photogenic are likely to be capable of efficiently inducing the immune system, without propagating within the host.
  • This strategy could be utilized in bacterial strains utilized for existing vaccines as an additional "fail-safe" mechanism.
  • The method of DLC production could also be applied to eukaryotic systems when a given cell type needs to be removed by the end of a process.

Key Features

  • DLCs are easy to produce
  • Process efficiency is 99.98% 5 min post the endonuclease induction (colony forming unit is reduced by 4 logs after 30 min).
  • The cells remain in an active state for hours, their surface molecules, proteins and RNA are still being synthesized and remain functional.

Development Milestones

Choosing the bacteria/ cells of interest. Cloning YqcG under an inducible promoter in this cell line. Inducing the endonuclease, sorting for conditions to efficiently produce DLCs, and testing the fate of the obtained cells. Estimated time 3-4 month of work.

The Opportunity

An easy way to improve current vaccination strategy, and other methods, which require the formation of DLCS for the removal of a specific cellular population after a specific procedure. For example, DLCs can be used for the production of proteins and substances, in which the producing cells need to be removed by the end of the process.   



Contact for more information:

Mel Larrosa
VP Business Development Healthcare
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