Structure and membrane interactions of the homodimeric antibiotic peptide homotarsinin.
ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from amphibian skin are valuable template structures to find new treatments against bacterial infections. This work describes for the first time the structure and membrane interactions of a homodimeric AMP. Homotarsinin, which was found in Phyllomedusa tarsius anurans, consists of two identical cystine-linked polypeptide chains each of 24 amino acid residues. The high-resolution structures of the monomeric and dimeric peptides were determined in aqueous buffers. The dimer exhibits a tightly packed coiled coil three-dimensional structure, keeping the hydrophobic residues screened from the aqueous environment. An overall cationic surface of the dimer assures enhanced interactions with negatively charged membranes. An extensive set of biophysical data allowed us to establish structure-function correlations with antimicrobial assays against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Although both peptides present considerable antimicrobial activity, the dimer is significantly more effective in both antibacterial and membrane biophysical assays.
Project description:The growing occurrence of bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics has called for the development of new classes of antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with broad antimicrobial spectrum derived from frog skin secretions have been demonstrated to be promising candidates for new antibiotic development. A proven rich source of these compounds are the skin secretions of the frogs in the Phyllomedusa genus. In this study, two novel phylloseptin peptides-phylloseptin-PTa and phylloseptin-PHa-were isolated from the skin secretions of the South American frogs, Phyllomedusa tarsius (P. tarsius) and Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis (P. hypochondrialis) through parallel transcriptomic and peptidomic studies. Replicates obtained by chemical synthesis were structurally analysed and shown to adopt an ?-helix configuration in an amphiphilic environment. Both peptides demonstrated antimicrobial activities against planktonic Gram-positive bacteria strains, including Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , biofilms, as well as cytostatic effects on the non-small cell lung cancer cell line, NCI-H157, with relatively low haemolysis on horse erythrocytes and low cytotoxicity on the human microvascular endothelial cell line, HMEC-1. The discovery of phylloseptin peptides may further inspire the development of new types of antibiotics.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the skin secretions of amphibians are fundamental components of a unique defense system that has evolved to protect these hosts from microbial invasion. Medusins constitute a recently-discovered AMP family from phyllomedusine leaf frog skin and exhibit highly-conserved structural characteristics. Here, we report a novel medusin, medusin-PT, from the skin secretion of the Tarsier Leaf Frog, Phyllomedusa tarsius. The mature peptide was initially identified from its cloned biosynthetic precursor-encoding cDNA as obtained by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) method. Reverse-phase HPLC and tandem mass spectrometry confirmed both the presence of medusin-PT in the skin secretion and its primary structure. In a range of bioassays, medusin-PT exhibited antimicrobial activity against only the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus at 64 ?g/ml. However, after directed changes to enhance the cationicity and amphipathicity of the peptide structure, three analog showed more potent antimicrobial activity against several additional bacteria including the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA. In addition, these analog exhibited activity against microbial biofilm (minimum biofilm inhibitory and eradication concentrations of 32 ?g/ml and over 64 ?g/ml, respectively). These data provide evidence that medusins might be promising candidates as novel antibiotic leads and that the targeted modification of a natural AMP can both improve its efficacy so as to provide new insights into antibiotic design and development.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides belonging to the phylloseptin family are mainly found in phyllomedusine frogs. These peptides not only possess potent antimicrobial activity but exhibit low toxicity against eukaryotic cells. Therefore, they are considered as promising drug candidates for a number of diseases. In a recent study, potent antimicrobial activity was correlated with the conserved structures and cationic amphiphilic characteristics of members of this peptide family. A phylloseptin peptide precursor was discovered here in the skin secretion of Phyllomedusa tarsius and the mature peptide was validated by MS/MS sequencing, and was subsequently named phylloseptin-PT. The chemically-synthesized and purified phylloseptin-PT displayed activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Nevertheless, a range of cationicity-enhanced peptide analogues of phylloseptin-PT, which contained amino acid substitutions at specific sites, exhibited significant increases in antimicrobial activity compared to native phylloseptin-PT. In addition, alternative conformers which were designed and chemically-synthesized with d-lysine, showed potent antimicrobial activity and enhanced bioavailability. These data indicate that phylloseptins may represent potential candidates for next-generation antibiotics. Thus, rational design through modification of natural antimicrobial peptide templates could provide an accelerated path to overcoming obstacles en-route to their possible clinical applications.
Project description:Two novel peptides belonging to the dermaseptin family, namely DRS-CA-1 and DRS-DU-1, were encoded from cDNA libraries derived from the skin secretions of Phyllomedusa camba and Callimedusa (Phyllomedusa) duellmani. Both natural peptides are highly-conserved and exhibited high potency against wild-type Gram-positive, Gram-negative bacteria, yeast and antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) (MICs 4-8 µM) with no obvious hemolytic activity. Collectively these results suggest that both peptides may have potential as novel antibiotics. Additionally, DRS-DU-1 exhibited selective cytotoxicity to tumor cells. The truncated analogue, DP-1 and TAT-fused DP-1 (namely DP-2) were subsequently synthesised. It showed that DP-1 had low antimicrobial activity, no hemolytic and cytotoxicity to tumor cells. However, DP-2 possessed strong antimicrobial activity and the similar selective, no obvious hemolytic activity and cytotoxicity on normal human cells, but enhanced cytotoxicity to tumor cells of DRS-DU-1. These findings indicate that the N-terminus of the dermaseptins may contribute to their bioactivity, and that addition of the TAT peptide can improve biological activity. The results provide a new insight for designing novel peptide-based antimicrobial or anticancer agents with low hemolytic activity and cytotoxicity.
Project description:A novel dermaseptin peptide, dermaseptin-PT9 (DPT9), was isolated and identified from Phyllomedusa tarsius by the combination of molecular cloning and LC-MS analysis. Chemically synthesised DPT9 was broadly effective against the tested microorganisms through the disruption of cell membranes and showed weak haemolytic activity towards horse erythrocytes. It also exhibited anti-proliferative effect against various human cancer cells. Moreover, an analogue with enhanced cationicity, K8, 23-DPT9, in which Asp8 and Glu23 were substituted by lysine residues, had a markedly increased antimicrobial effect against all tested microorganisms and disrupted microbial cell membranes. This analogue also showed no haemolysis at its effective antimicrobial concentrations. In addition, K8, 23-DPT9 displayed an enhanced anti-proliferative effect against cancer cells, while displayed weak activity against the normal human cell line, HMEC-1.
Project description:Phylloseptin (PS) peptides, derived from South American hylid frogs (subfamily Phyllomedusinae), have been found to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and relatively low haemolytic activities. Although PS peptides have been identified from several well-known and widely-distributed species of the Phyllomedusinae, there remains merit in their study in additional, more obscure and specialised members of this taxon. Here, we report the discovery of two novel PS peptides, named PS-Du and PS-Co, which were respectively identified for the first time and isolated from the skin secretions of Phyllomedusa duellmani and Phyllomedusa coelestis. Their encoding cDNAs were cloned, from which it was possible to deduce the entire primary structures of their biosynthetic precursors. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analyses were employed to isolate and structurally-characterise respective encoded PS peptides from skin secretions. The peptides had molecular masses of 2049.7 Da (PS-Du) and 1972.8 Da (PS-Co). They shared typical N-terminal sequences and C-terminal amidation with other known phylloseptins. The two peptides exhibited growth inhibitory activity against E. coli (NCTC 10418), as a standard Gram-negative bacterium, S. aureus (NCTC 10788), as a standard Gram-positive bacterium and C. albicans (NCPF 1467), as a standard pathogenic yeast, all as planktonic cultures. Moreover, both peptides demonstrated the capability of eliminating S. aureus biofilm.
Project description:The dermaseptin peptides, mainly derived from the skin secretions of Hylidae frogs, belong to a superfamily of antimicrobial peptides and exhibit diverse antimicrobial and anticancer activities with low cytotoxicity. Here, we reported a novel dermaseptin peptide, from the South American orange-legged leaf frogs, Pithecopus (Phyllomedusa) hypochondrialis, processing the shortest peptide length, namely Dermaseptin-PH. The complementary DNA (cDNA) encoding biosynthetic precursor of Dermaseptin-PH was initially identified by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends PCR (RACE-PCR) technique from the skin secretion. The predicted primary structure was confirmed by a combination of reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and MS/MS fragmentation from the skin secretion. Chemically-synthetic Dermaseptin-PH was investigated using a range of bioactivity assessment assays to evaluate the biological activities and cytotoxicity of Dermaseptin-PH. Dermaseptin-PH inhibited the growth of Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and pathogenic yeast Candidaalbicans. In addition, Dermaseptin-PH showed a broad-spectrum of anticancer activities against several cancer cell lines including MCF-7, H157, U251MG, MDA-MB-435S, and PC-3. The potent antimicrobial and anticancer activities of Dermaseptin-PH make it a promising candidate in the discovery of new drugs for clinical applications, and the relatively short sequence of Dermaseptin-PH can provide new insight for the research and structural modification of new peptide drugs.
Project description:The activity of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) has been investigated extensively using model membranes composed of phospholipids or lipopolysaccharides in aqueous environments. However, from a biophysical perspective, there is a large scientific interest regarding the direct interaction of membrane-active peptides with whole bacteria. Working with living bacteria limits the usability of experimental setups and the interpretation of the resulting data because of safety risks and the overlap of active and passive effects induced by AMPs. We killed or inactivated metabolic-active bacteria using ?-irradiation or sodium azide, respectively. Microscopy, flow cytometry, and SYTOX green assays showed that the cell envelope remained intact to a high degree at the minimal bactericidal dose. Furthermore, the tumor-necrosis-factor-?-inducing activity of the lipopolysaccharides and the chemical lipid composition was unchanged. Determining the binding capacity of AMPs to the bacterial cell envelope by calorimetry is difficult because of an overlapping of the binding heat and metabolic activities of the bacteria-induced by the AMPs. The inactivation of all active processes helps to decipher the complex thermodynamic information. From the isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) results, we propose that the bacterial membrane potential (??) is possibly an underestimated modulator of the AMP activity. The negative surface charge of the outer leaflet of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is already neutralized by peptide concentrations below the minimal inhibitory concentration. This proves that peptide aggregation on the bacterial membrane surface plays a decisive role in the degree of antimicrobial activity. This will not only enable many biophysical approaches for the investigation between bacteria and membrane-active peptides in the future but will also make it possible to compare biophysical parameters of active and inactive bacteria. This opens up new possibilities to better understand the active and passive interaction processes between AMPs and bacteria.
Project description:To survive during colonization or infection of the human body, microorganisms must defeat antimicrobial peptides, which represent a key component of innate host defense in phagocytes and on epithelia. However, is not known how the clinically important group of Gram-positive bacteria sense antimicrobial peptides to coordinate a directed defensive response. By determining the genome-wide gene regulatory response to human beta defensin 3 in the nosocomial pathogen Staphylococcus epidermidis, we discovered an antimicrobial peptide sensor system that controls major specific resistance mechanisms to antimicrobial peptides and is unrelated to the Gram-negative PhoP/PhoQ system. Wild type untreated in triplicate is compared to wild type treated in triplicate along with three mutants in triplicate with and without treatment of human beta defensin 3, totalling 30 samples
Project description:Cathelicidins are an ancient class of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with broad spectrum bactericidal activities. In this study, we investigated the diversity and biological activity of cathelicidins of buffalo, a species known for its disease resistance. A series of new homologs of cathelicidin4 (CATHL4), which were structurally diverse in their antimicrobial domain, was identified in buffalo. AMPs of newly identified buffalo CATHL4s (buCATHL4s) displayed potent antimicrobial activity against selected Gram positive (G+) and Gram negative (G-) bacteria. These peptides were prompt to disrupt the membrane integrity of bacteria and induced specific changes such as blebing, budding, and pore like structure formation on bacterial membrane. The peptides assumed different secondary structure conformations in aqueous and membrane-mimicking environments. Simulation studies suggested that the amphipathic design of buCATHL4 was crucial for water permeation following membrane disruption. A great diversity, broad-spectrum antimicrobial action, and ability to induce an inflammatory response indicated the pleiotropic role of cathelicidins in innate immunity of buffalo. This study suggests short buffalo cathelicidin peptides with potent bactericidal properties and low cytotoxicity have potential translational applications for the development of novel antibiotics and antimicrobial peptidomimetics.