Candidacidal effects of two antimicrobial peptides: histatin 5 causes small membrane defects, but LL-37 causes massive disruption of the cell membrane.
ABSTRACT: The effects of antimicrobial peptides on artificial membranes have been well-documented; however, reports on the ultrastructural effects on the membranes of micro-organisms are relatively scarce. We compared the effects of histatin 5 and LL-37, two antimicrobial peptides present in human saliva, on the functional and morphological properties of the Candida albicans cell membrane. Fluorescence microscopy and immunogold transmission electron microscopy revealed that LL-37 remained associated with the cell wall and cell membrane, whereas histatin 5 transmigrated over the membrane and accumulated intracellularly. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy revealed that LL-37 severely affected the membrane morphology, resulting in the disintegration of the membrane bilayer into discrete vesicles, and an instantaneous efflux of small molecules such as ATP as well as larger molecules such as proteins with molecular masses up to 40 kDa. The effects of histatin 5 on the membrane morphology were less pronounced, but still resulted in the efflux of nucleotides. As the morphological defects induced by histatin 5 are much smaller than those induced by LL-37, but the efflux of nucleotides is similar at comparable candidacidal concentrations, we suggest that the loss of nucleotides plays an important role in the killing process.
Project description:The candidacidal activity of histatin 5 is initiated through cell wall binding, followed by translocation and intracellular targeting, while the halocidin peptide exerts its activity by attacking the Candida cell membrane. To improve antimicrobial activities and to understand the killing mechanism of two peptides, six hybrid peptides were designed by conjugating histatin 5 and halocidin. A comparative approach was established to study the activity, salt tolerance, cell wall glucan binding assay, cytotoxicity, generation of ROS and killing kinetics. CD spectrometry was conducted to evaluate secondary structures of these hybrid peptides. Furthermore the cellular localization of hybrid peptides was investigated by confocal fluorescence microscopy. Of the six hybrid congeners, di-PH2, di-WP2 and HHP1 had stronger activities than other hybrid peptides against all tested Candida strains. The MIC values of these peptides were 1-2, 2-4 and 2-4 ?g/ml, respectively. Moreover, none of the hybrid peptides was cytotoxic in the hemolytic assay and cell-based cytotoxicity assay. Confocal laser microscopy showed that di-PH2 and HHP1 were translocated into cytoplasm whereas di-WP2 was accumulated on surface of C. albicans to exert their candidacidal activity. All translocated peptides (Hst 5, P113, di-PH2) were capable of generating intracellular ROS except HHP1. Additionally, the KFH residues at C-terminal end of these peptides were assumed for core sequence for active translocation.
Project description:A number of cationic antimicrobial peptides, among which are histatin 5 and the derived peptides dhvar4 and dhvar5, enter their target cells and interact with internal organelles. There still are questions about the mechanisms by which antimicrobial peptides translocate across the membrane. We used a liposome model to study membrane binding, translocation and membrane-perturbing capacities of histatin 5, dhvar4 and dhvar5. Despite the differences in amphipathic characters of these peptides, they bound equally well to liposomes, whereas their membrane activities differed remarkably: dhvar4 translocated at the fastest rate, followed by dhvar5, whereas the histatin 5 translocation rate was much lower. The same pattern was seen for the extent of calcein release: highest with dhvar4, less with dhvar5 and almost none with histatin 5. The translocation and disruptive actions of dhvar5 did not seem to be coupled, because translocation occurred on a much longer timescale than calcein release, which ended within a few minutes. We conclude that peptide translocation can occur through peptide-phospholipid interactions, and that this is a possible mechanism by which antimicrobial peptides enter cells. However, the translocation rate was much lower in this model membrane system than that seen in yeast cells. Thus it is likely that, at least for some peptides, additional features promoting the translocation across biological membranes are involved as well.
Project description:Histatins are salivary histidine-rich cationic peptides, ranging from 7 to 38 amino acid residues in length, that exert a potent killing effect in vitro on Candida albicans. Starting from the C-terminal fungicidal domain of histatin 5 (residues 11-24, called dh-5) a number of substitution analogues were chemically synthesized to study the effect of amphipathicity of the peptide in helix conformation on candidacidal activity. Single substitutions in dh-5 at several positions did not have any effect on fungicidal activity. However, multi-site substituted analogues (dhvar1 and dhvar2) exhibited a 6-fold increased activity over dh-5. In addition, dhvar1 and dhvar2 inhibited the growth of the second most common yeast found in clinical isolates, Torulopsis glabrata, of oral- and non-oral pathogens such as Prevotella intermedia and Streptococcus mutans, and of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In their broad-spectrum activity, dhvar1 and dhvar2 were comparable to magainins (PGLa and magainin 2), antimicrobial peptides of amphibian origin. Both the fungicidal and the haemolytic activities of dhvar1, dhvar2 and magainins increased at decreasing ionic strength.
Project description:Antifungal mechanisms of action of two cathelicidins, chicken CATH-2 and human LL-37, were studied and compared with the mode of action of the salivary peptide histatin 5 (Hst5). Candida albicans was used as a model organism for fungal pathogens. Analysis by live-cell imaging showed that the peptides kill C. albicans rapidly. CATH-2 is the most active peptide and kills C. albicans within 5 min. Both cathelicidins induce cell membrane permeabilization and simultaneous vacuolar expansion. Minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) are in the same order of magnitude for all three peptides, but the mechanisms of antifungal activity are very different. The activity of cathelicidins is independent of the energy status of the fungal cell, unlike Hst5 activity. Live-cell imaging using fluorescently labeled peptides showed that both CATH-2 and LL-37 quickly localize to the C. albicans cell membrane, while Hst5 was mainly directed to the fungal vacuole. Small amounts of cathelicidins internalize at sub-MFCs, suggesting that intracellular activities of the peptide could contribute to the antifungal activity. Analysis by flow cytometry indicated that CATH-2 significantly decreases C. albicans cell size. Finally, electron microscopy showed that CATH-2 affects the integrity of the cell membrane and nuclear envelope. It is concluded that the general mechanisms of action of both cathelicidins are partially similar (but very different from that of Hst5). CATH-2 has unique features and possesses antifungal potential superior to that of LL-37.
Project description:Histatin 5 (Hst5) is a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide that acts as the first line of defense against oral candidiasis. It has been shown that conjugation of the active Hst5 fragment, Hst54-15, and the polyamine spermidine (Spd) improves the candidacidal effect. Knowledge about the structure of these conjugates is, however, very limited. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize the structural properties of the Hst54-15-Spd conjugates by performing atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in combination with small-angle X-ray scattering. It was shown that the Hst54-15-Spd conjugates adopt extended and slightly rigid random coil conformations without any secondary structure in aqueous solution. It is hypothesized that the increased fungal killing potential of Hst54-15-Spd, in comparison with the Spd-Hst54-15 conjugate, is due to the more extended conformations of the former, which cause the bonded Spd molecule to be more accessible for recognition by polyamine transporters in the cell.
Project description:Three anti-microbial peptides were compared with respect to their killing activity against Candida albicans and their ability to disturb its cellular and internal membranes. Histatin 5 is an anti-fungal peptide occurring naturally in human saliva, while dhvar4 and dhvar5 are variants of its active domain, with increased anti-microbial activity. dhvar4 has increased amphipathicity compared with histatin 5, whereas dhvar5 has amphipathicity comparable with that of histatin 5. All three peptides caused depolarization of the cytoplasmic and/or mitochondrial membrane, indicating membranolytic activity. For the variant peptides both depolarization and killing occurred at a faster rate. With FITC-labelled peptides, no association with the cytoplasmic membrane was observed, contradicting the formation of permanent transmembrane multimeric peptide pores. Instead, the peptides were internalized and act on internal membranes, as demonstrated with mitochondrion- and vacuole-specific markers. In comparison with histatin 5, the variant peptides showed a more destructive effect on mitochondria. Entry of the peptides and subsequent killing were dependent on the metabolic state of the cells. Blocking of the mitochondrial activity led to complete protection against histatin 5 activity, whereas that of dhvar4 was hardly affected and that of dhvar5 was affected only intermediately.
Project description:Salivary histatin 5 (Hst 5) is a cationic salivary protein with high fungicidal activity against Candida albicans. Binding to the cell wall followed by intracellular translocation is required for killing; however, specific binding components and critical toxic events are not understood. In this study, laminarin (beta-1,3-glucan) but not sialic acid, mannan or pustulan mediated Hst 5 binding to C. albicans, and was disassociated by 100 mM NaCl. Time-lapse confocal microscopy revealed a dose-dependent rate of cytosolic uptake of Hst 5 that invariably preceded propidium iodide (PI) entry, demonstrating that translocation itself does not disrupt membrane integrity. Cell toxicity was manifest by vacuolar expansion followed by PI entrance; however, loss of endocytotic vacuolar trafficking of Hst 5 did not reduce killing. Extracellular NaCl (100 mM), but not sorbitol, prevented vacuolar expansion and PI entry in cells already containing cytosolic Hst 5, thus showing a critical role for ionic balance in Hst 5 toxicity. Hst 5 uptake, but not cell wall binding, was blocked by pretreatment with azide or carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone; however, 10% of de-energized cells had membrane disruption. Thus, Hst 5 is capable of heterogeneous intracellular entry routes, but only direct cytosolic translocation causes cell death as a result of ionic efflux.
Project description:Msb2 is a sensor protein in the plasma membrane of fungi. In the human fungal pathogen C. albicans Msb2 signals via the Cek1 MAP kinase pathway to maintain cell wall integrity and allow filamentous growth. Msb2 doubly epitope-tagged in its large extracellular and small cytoplasmic domain was efficiently cleaved during liquid and surface growth and the extracellular domain was almost quantitatively released into the growth medium. Msb2 cleavage was independent of proteases Sap9, Sap10 and Kex2. Secreted Msb2 was highly O-glycosylated by protein mannosyltransferases including Pmt1 resulting in an apparent molecular mass of >400 kDa. Deletion analyses revealed that the transmembrane region is required for Msb2 function, while the large N-terminal and the small cytoplasmic region function to downregulate Msb2 signaling or, respectively, allow its induction by tunicamycin. Purified extracellular Msb2 domain protected fungal and bacterial cells effectively from antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) histatin-5 and LL-37. AMP inactivation was not due to degradation but depended on the quantity and length of the Msb2 glycofragment. C. albicans msb2 mutants were supersensitive to LL-37 but not histatin-5, suggesting that secreted rather than cell-associated Msb2 determines AMP protection. Thus, in addition to its sensor function Msb2 has a second activity because shedding of its glycofragment generates AMP quorum resistance.
Project description:Expression of the antimicrobial peptide hCAP18/LL-37 is associated to malignancy in various cancer forms, stimulating cell migration and metastasis. We report that LL-37 induces migration of three cancer cell lines by activating the TRPV2 calcium-permeable channel and recruiting it to pseudopodia through activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. Ca2+ entry through TRPV2 cooperated with a K+ efflux through the BKCa channel. In a panel of human breast tumors, the expression of TRPV2 and LL-37 was found to be positively correlated. The D-enantiomer of LL-37 showed identical effects as the L-peptide, suggesting that no binding to a specific receptor was involved. LL-37 attached to caveolae and pseudopodia membranes and decreased membrane fluidity, suggesting that a modification of the physical properties of the lipid membrane bilayer was the underlying mechanism of its effects.
Project description:Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii has recently emerged as an important pathogen in nosocomial infection; thus, effective antimicrobial regimens are urgently needed. Human antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) exhibit multiple functions and antimicrobial activities against bacteria and fungi and are proposed to be potential adjuvant therapeutic agents. This study examined the effect of the human cathelicidin-derived AMP LL-37 on A. baumannii and revealed the underlying mode of action. We found that LL-37 killed A. baumannii efficiently and reduced cell motility and adhesion. The bacteria-killing effect of LL-37 on A. baumannii was more efficient compared to other AMPs, including human ß-defensin 3 (hBD3) and histatin 5 (Hst5). Both flow cytometric analysis and immunofluorescence staining showed that LL-37 bound to A. baumannii cells. Moreover, far-western analysis demonstrated that LL-37 could bind to the A. baumannii OmpA (AbOmpA) protein. An ELISA assay indicated that biotin-labelled LL-37 (BA-LL37) bound to the AbOmpA74-84 peptide in a dose-dependent manner. Using BA-LL37 as a probe, the ~38 kDa OmpA signal was detected in the wild type but the ompA deletion strain did not show the protein, thereby validating the interaction. Finally, we found that the ompA deletion mutant was more sensitive to LL-37 and decreased cell adhesion by 32% compared to the wild type. However, ompA deletion mutant showed a greatly reduced adhesion defect after LL-37 treatment compared to the wild strain. Taken together, this study provides evidence that LL-37 affects A. baumannii through OmpA binding.