Lactoferrin and lactoferricin endocytosis halt Giardia cell growth and prevent infective cyst production.
ABSTRACT: Lactoferrin (LF) is an 80 KDa iron-binding glycoprotein that plays a significant role in the innate immune system and is considered to be an important microbicide molecule. It has been suggested to be effective in the treatment of giardiasis, an intestinal disease caused by the protozoan parasite G. lamblia. However, the molecular mechanisms by which LF exerts its effect on this parasite are unknown. Most of the microbicidal activity of human or bovine LF (hLF or bLF) has been associated with the N-terminal region of the mature LF - lactoferricin (LFcin). LFcin is produced by pepsin cleavage of the native protein in vitro and likely in vivo. In this work, we analyse the participation of the endocytic machinery of G. lamblia in the internalization of bLF and bLFcin and their effects on cell homeostasis. Our results show that, when bLF or bLFcin are internalized by receptor-mediated endocytosis, cell growth stops, and morphological changes are produced in the trophozoites, which ultimately will produce immature cysts. Our findings contribute to disclose the fine mechanism by which bLF and bLFcin may function as an antigiardial molecule and why they have therapeutic potential to eradicate giardiasis.
Project description:Highlights • Cell-free (in vitro) method is ideal for short bioactive peptides rapid expression.• Camel lactoferricin is the most active among natural lactoferricin peptides.• Consensus lactoferricin is a candidate for further development into therapeutic use. For the first time, we produced four lactoferricin (LFcin) peptides by a cell-free (in vitro) method. These short antimicrobial peptides were expressed in an E. coli cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) system and the bioactivity of the produced peptides was demonstrated. Additionally, we designed a novel synthetic consensus peptide (ConLFcin). The genes of bovine Lfcin (bLFcin), human Lfcin (hLFcin), camel Lfcin (cLFcin), and ConLFcin were cloned into pET101/D-TOPO vector then peptides were synthesized in vitro by E. coli CFPS system. The antibacterial activity of these synthesized peptides was evaluated against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The four cell-free synthesized peptides showed significant antibacterial potency at minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values between 1.25 and 10 ?g/mL. cLFcin and ConLFcin showed higher antibacterial effects than bLFcin and hLFcin. Thus, cell-free expression system is an ideal system for rapid expression of functionally active short bioactive peptides.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have potential antifungal activities; however, their intracellular protein targets are poorly reported. Proteome microarray is an effective tool with high-throughput and rapid platform that systematically identifies the protein targets. In this study, we have used yeast proteome microarrays for systematical identification of the yeast protein targets of Lactoferricin B (Lfcin B) and Histatin-5. A total of 140 and 137 protein targets were identified from the triplicate yeast proteome microarray assays for Lfcin B and Histatin-5, respectively. The Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis showed that Lfcin B targeted more enrichment categories than Histatin-5 did in all GO biological processes, molecular functions, and cellular components. This might be one of the reasons that Lfcin B has a lower minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) than Histatin-5. Moreover, pairwise essential proteins that have lethal effects on yeast were analyzed through synthetic lethality. A total of 11 synthetic lethal pairs were identified within the protein targets of Lfcin B. However, only three synthetic lethal pairs were identified within the protein targets of Histatin-5. The higher number of synthetic lethal pairs identified within the protein targets of Lfcin B might also be the reason for Lfcin B to have lower MIC than Histatin-5. Furthermore, two synthetic lethal pairs were identified between the unique protein targets of Lfcin B and Histatin-5. Both the identified synthetic lethal pairs proteins are part of the Spt-Ada-Gcn5 acetyltransferase (SAGA) protein complex that regulates gene expression via histone modification. Identification of synthetic lethal pairs between Lfcin B and Histatin-5 and their involvement in the same protein complex indicated synergistic combination between Lfcin B and Histatin-5. This hypothesis was experimentally confirmed by growth inhibition assay.
Project description:The study evaluated the in vitro antimicrobial and antibiofilm efficacy of an antimicrobial peptide (AMP), lactoferricin (17-30) [Lfcin (17-30)], against biofilm-forming multi-drug-resistant (MDR) strains of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC), and subsequently, the in vivo antimicrobial efficacy was assessed in a Galleria mellonella larval model. Initially, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC; 32 ?M), minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC; 32 ?M), and minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC; 32 ?M) of Lfcin (17-30) were determined against MDR-EAEC field isolates (n = 3). Lfcin (17-30) was tested stable against high-end temperatures (70 and 90°C), physiological concentration of cationic salts (150 mM NaCl and 2 mM MgCl2), and proteases (proteinase-K and lysozyme). Further, at lower MIC, Lfcin (17-30) proved to be safe for sheep RBCs, secondary cell lines (HEp-2 and RAW 264.7), and beneficial gut lactobacilli. In the in vitro time-kill assay, Lfcin (17-30) inhibited the MDR-EAEC strains 3 h post-incubation, and the antibacterial effect was due to membrane permeation of Lfcin (17-30) in the inner and outer membranes of MDR-EAEC. Furthermore, in the in vivo experiments, G. mellonella larvae treated with Lfcin (17-30) exhibited an increased survival rate, lower MDR-EAEC counts (P < 0.001), mild to moderate histopathological changes, and enhanced immunomodulatory effect and were safe to larval cells when compared with infection control. Besides, Lfcin (17-30) proved to be an effective antibiofilm agent, as it inhibited and eradicated the preformed biofilm formed by MDR-EAEC strains in a significant (P < 0.05) manner both by microtiter plate assay and live/dead bacterial quantification-based confocal microscopy. We recommend further investigation of Lfcin (17-30) in an appropriate animal model before its application in target host against MDR-EAEC strains.
Project description:Research on Giardia lamblia has accumulated large information about its molecular cell biology and infection biology. However, giardiasis is still one of the commonest parasitic diarrheal diseases affecting humans. Additionally, an alarming increase in cases refractory to conventional treatment has been reported in low prevalence settings. Consequently, efforts directed toward supporting the efficient use of alternative drugs, and the study of their molecular targets appears promising. Repurposing of proton pump inhibitors is effective in vitro against the parasite and the toxic activity is associated with the inhibition of the G. lamblia triosephosphate isomerase (GlTIM) via the formation of covalent adducts with cysteine residue at position 222. Herein, we evaluate the effectiveness of omeprazole in vitro and in situ on GlTIM mutants lacking the most superficial cysteines. We studied the influence on the glycolysis of Giardia trophozoites treated with omeprazole and characterized, for the first time, the morphological effect caused by this drug on the parasite. Our results support the effectiveness of omeprazole against GlTIM despite of the possibility to mutate the druggable amino acid targets as an adaptive response. Also, we further characterized the effect of omeprazole on trophozoites and discuss the possible mechanism involved in its antigiardial effect.
Project description:Giardiasis is highly prevalent in the developing world, and treatment failures with the standard drugs are common. This work deals with the proposal of omeprazole as a novel antigiardial drug, focusing on a giardial glycolytic enzyme used to follow the cytotoxic effect at the molecular level. We used recombinant technology and enzyme inactivation to demonstrate the capacity of omeprazole to inactivate giardial triosephosphate isomerase, with no adverse effects on its human counterpart. To establish the specific target in the enzyme, we used single mutants of every cysteine residue in triosephosphate isomerase. The effect on cellular triosephosphate isomerase was evaluated by following the remnant enzyme activity on trophozoites treated with omeprazole. The interaction of omeprazole with giardial proteins was analyzed by fluorescence spectroscopy. The susceptibility to omeprazole of drug-susceptible and drug-resistant strains of Giardia lamblia was evaluated to demonstrate its potential as a novel antigiardial drug. Our results demonstrate that omeprazole inhibits giardial triosephosphate isomerase in a species-specific manner through interaction with cysteine at position 222. Omeprazole enters the cytoplasmic compartment of the trophozoites and inhibits cellular triosephosphate isomerase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Such inhibition takes place concomitantly with the cytotoxic effect caused by omeprazole on trophozoites. G. lamblia triosephosphate isomerase (GlTIM) is a cytoplasmic protein which can help analyses of how omeprazole works against the proteins of this parasite and in the effort to understand its mechanism of cytotoxicity. Our results demonstrate the mechanism of giardial triosephosphate isomerase inhibition by omeprazole and show that this drug is effective in vitro against drug-resistant and drug-susceptible strains of G. lamblia.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have been shown to deliver cargos, including protein, DNA, RNA, and nanomaterials, in fully active forms into live cells. Most of the CPP sequences in use today are based on non-native proteins that may be immunogenic. Here we demonstrate that the L5a CPP (RRWQW) from bovine lactoferricin (LFcin), stably and noncovalently complexed with plasmid DNA and prepared at an optimal nitrogen/phosphate ratio of 12, is able to efficiently enter into human lung cancer A549 cells. The L5a CPP delivered a plasmid containing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) coding sequence that was subsequently expressed in cells, as revealed by real-time PCR and fluorescent microscopy at the mRNA and protein levels, respectively. Treatment with calcium chloride increased the level of gene expression, without affecting CPP-mediated transfection efficiency. Zeta-potential analysis revealed that positively electrostatic interactions of CPP/DNA complexes correlated with CPP-mediated transport. The L5a and L5a/DNA complexes were not cytotoxic. This biomimetic LFcin L5a represents one of the shortest effective CPPs and could be a promising lead peptide with less immunogenic for DNA delivery in gene therapy.
Project description:Carbamate kinase from Giardia lamblia is an essential enzyme for the survival of the organism. The enzyme catalyzes the final step in the arginine dihydrolase pathway converting ADP and carbamoyl phosphate to ATP and carbamate. We previously reported that disulfiram, a drug used to treat chronic alcoholism, inhibits G. lamblia CK and kills G. lamblia trophozoites in vitro at submicromolar IC50 values. Here, we examine the structural basis for G. lamblia CK inhibition of disulfiram and its analog, thiram, their activities against both metronidazole-susceptible and metronidazole-resistant G. lamblia isolates, and their efficacy in a mouse model of giardiasis. The crystal structure of G. lamblia CK soaked with disulfiram revealed that the compound thiocarbamoylated Cys-242, a residue located at the edge of the active site. The modified Cys-242 prevents a conformational transition of a loop adjacent to the ADP/ATP binding site, which is required for the stacking of Tyr-245 side chain against the adenine moiety, an interaction seen in the structure of G. lamblia CK in complex with AMP-PNP. Mass spectrometry coupled with trypsin digestion confirmed the selective covalent thiocarbamoylation of Cys-242 in solution. The Giardia viability studies in the metronidazole-resistant strain and the G. lamblia CK irreversible inactivation mechanism show that the thiuram compounds can circumvent the resistance mechanism that renders metronidazole ineffectiveness in drug resistance cases of giardiasis. Together, the studies suggest that G. lamblia CK is an attractive drug target for development of novel antigiardial therapies and that disulfiram, an FDA-approved drug, is a promising candidate for drug repurposing.
Project description:The ability of lactoferrin (Lf), an iron-binding glycoprotein that is also called lactotransferrin, to bind lipopolysaccharide (LPS) may be relevant to some of its biological properties. A knowledge of the LPS-binding site on Lf may help to explain the mechanism of its involvement in host defence. Our report reveals the presence of two Escherichia coli 055B5 LPS-binding sites on human Lf (hLf): a high-affinity binding site (Kd 3.6 +/- 1 nM) and a low-affinity binding site (Kd 390 +/- 20 nM). Bovine Lf (bLf), which shares about 70% amino acid sequence identity with hLf, exhibits the same behaviour towards LPS. Like hLf, bLf also contains a low- and a high-affinity LPS-binding site. The Kd value (4.5 +/- 2 nM) corresponding to the high-affinity binding site is similar to that obtained for hLf. Different LPS-binding sites for human serum transferrin have been suggested, as this protein, which is known to bind bacterial endotoxin, produced only 12% inhibition of hLf-LPS interaction. Binding and competitive binding experiments performed with the N-tryptic fragment (residues 4-283), the C-tryptic fragment (residues 284-692) and the N2-glycopeptide (residues 91-255) isolated from hLf have demonstrated that the high-affinity binding site is located in the N-terminal domain I of hLf, and the low-affinity binding site is present in the C-terminal lobe. The inhibition of hLf-LPS interaction by a synthetic octadecapeptide corresponding to residues 20-37 of hLf and lactoferricin B (residues 17-41), a proteolytic fragment from bLf, revealed the importance of the 28-34 loop region of hLf and the homologous region of bLf for LPS binding. Direct evidence that this amino acid sequence is involved in the high-affinity binding to LPS was demonstrated by assays carried out with EGS-loop hLf, a recombinant hLf mutated at residues 28-34.
Project description:Amoebiasis caused by the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica remains a public health problem in developing countries, making the identification of new anti-amoebic compounds a continuing priority. Previously, we have shown that lactoferrin (Lf) and several Lf-derived peptides exhibit in vitro anti-amoebic activity independently of their iron-binding activity. Here, we evaluated the amoebicidal effect of synthetic Lf-derived peptides Lfcin-B, Lfcin 17-30, and Lfampin, analyzed the mechanism of death induced by the peptides and determined their therapeutic effects on murine intestinal amoebiasis. MTT assays in trophozoite cultures of E. histolytica exposed to each peptide (1-1000 ?M) showed that Lfampin is far more amoebicidal than Lfcins. Lfampin killed 80% of trophozoites at doses higher than 100 ?M in 24 h, and FACs analysis using Annexin V/propidium iodide showed that death occurred mainly by necrosis. In contrast, Lfcin-B and Lfcin 17-30 appeared to have no significant effect on amoebic viability. FACs and confocal microscopy analysis using FITC-labeled peptides showed that all three peptides are internalized by the amoeba mainly using receptor (PI3K signaling) and actin-dependent pathways but independent of clathrin. Docking studies identified cholesterol in the amoeba's plasma membrane as a possible target of Lfampin. Oral treatment of intracecally infected mice with the abovementioned peptides at 10 mg/kg for 4 days showed that Lfampin resolved 100% of the cases of intestinal amoebiasis, whereas Lfcin 17-30 and Lfcin-B were effective in resolving infection in 80 and 70% of cases, respectively. These data show that although synthetic bovine Lf-derived peptides exhibit varying amoebicidal potentials in vitro, they do resolve murine intestinal amoebiasis efficiently, suggesting that they may be useful as a therapeutic treatment.
Project description:Giardia lamblia is an important and ubiquitous cause of diarrheal disease. The primary agents in the treatment of giardiasis are nitroheterocyclic drugs, particularly the imidazoles metronidazole and tinidazole and the thiazole nitazoxanide. Although these drugs are generally effective, treatment failures occur in up to 20% of cases, and resistance has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro Prior work had suggested that side chain modifications of the imidazole core can lead to new effective 5-nitroimidazole drugs that can combat nitro drug resistance, but the full potential of nitroheterocycles other than imidazole to yield effective new antigiardial agents has not been explored. Here, we generated derivatives of two clinically utilized nitroheterocycles, nitrothiazole and nitrofuran, as well as a third heterocycle, nitropyrrole, which is related to nitroimidazole but has not been systematically investigated as an antimicrobial drug scaffold. Click chemistry was employed to synthesize 442 novel nitroheterocyclic compounds with extensive side chain modifications. Screening of this library against representative G. lamblia strains showed a wide spectrum of in vitro activities, with many of the compounds exhibiting superior activity relative to reference drugs and several showing >100-fold increase in potency and the ability to overcome existing forms of metronidazole resistance. The majority of new compounds displayed no cytotoxicity against human cells, and several compounds were orally active against murine giardiasis in vivo These findings provide additional impetus for the systematic development of nitroheterocyclic compounds with nonimidazole cores as alternative and improved agents for the treatment of giardiasis and potentially other infectious agents.