Enhancing the antibacterial activity of antimicrobial peptide PMAP-37(F34-R) by cholesterol modification.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The problem of increasing resistance against conventional antibiotics has drawn people's attention. Therefore, the development of novel antibacterial agents with effective and safe therapeutic effects is imminent. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered a promising class of antibacterial agents due to their broad antibacterial spectrum. RESULTS:In this study, on the basis of our previously studied peptide PMAP-37(F34-R), a novel antimicrobial peptide Chol-37(F34-R) was developed by N-terminal cholesterol modification to increase hydrophobicity. We observed that the N-terminal cholesterol-modified Chol-37(F34-R) showed higher antimicrobial activity than PMAP-37(F34-R) in vitro. Chol-37(F34-R) also exhibited effective anti-biofilm activity and may kill bacteria by improving the permeability of their membranes. Chol-37(F34-R) exerted high stability in different pH, salt, serum, and boiling water environments. Chol-37(F34-R) also showed no hemolytic activity and substantially low toxicity. Furthermore, Chol-37(F34-R) exhibited good potency of bacteria eradication and promoted wound healing and abscess reduction in infected mice. Meanwhile, in S. aureus ATCC25923-infected peritonitis model, Chol-37(F34-R) exhibited an impressive therapeutic effect by reducing the decrease in systemic bacterial burden and alleviating organ damage. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggested that the N-terminal cholesterol modification of PMAP-37(F34-R) could improve antibacterial activity. Chol-37(F34-R) displayed excellent bactericidal efficacy and impressive therapeutic effect in vivo. Thus, Chol-37(F34-R) may be a candidate for antimicrobial agents against microbial infection in the clinic.
Project description:Host defense peptides (HDPs) play a pivotal role in innate immunity and have, in addition to antimicrobial activity, also important immunomodulatory functions. Bacteria are less likely to develop resistance against HDPs because these peptides target and kill bacteria in multiple ways, as well as modulate the immune system. Therefore, HDPs, and derivatives thereof, are promising alternatives to traditional antibiotics. Hardly anything is known about the immunomodulatory functions of porcine cathelicidin PMAP-36. In this study, we aimed to determine both antibacterial and immunomodulatory activities of PMAP-36 comparing the properties of PMAP-36 analogs with two well-studied peptides, human LL-37 and chicken CATH-2. Transmission electron microscopy revealed different killing mechanisms of E. coli for PMAP-36, CATH-2 and LL-37. LL-37 binds LPS very weakly in contrast to PMAP-36, but it inhibits LPS activation of macrophages the strongest. The first 11 amino acids of the N-terminal side of PMAP-36 are dispensable for E. coli killing, LPS-neutralization and binding. Deletion of four additional amino acids resulted in a strong decrease in activity. The activity of full length PMAP-36 was not affected by monomerization, whereas the shorter analogs require dimerization for proper immunomodulatory activity but not for their antibacterial activity.
Project description:Drug-resistant bacteria infections and drug residues have been increasing and causing antibiotic resistance and public health threats worldwide. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are novel antimicrobial drugs with the potential to solve these problems. Here, a peptide based on our previously studied peptide PMAP-36PW was designed via N-terminal myristoylation and referred to as Myr-36PW. The fatty acid modification provided the as-prepared peptide with good stability and higher antimicrobial activity compared with PMAP-36PW in vitro. Moreover, Myr-36PW exhibited effective anti-biofilm activity against Gram-negative bacteria and may kill bacteria by improving the permeability of their membranes. In addition, the designed peptide Myr-36PW could inhibit the bacterial growth of Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa GIM 1.551 to target organs, decrease the inflammatory damage, show an impressive therapeutic effect on mouse pneumonia and peritonitis experiments, and promote abscess reduction and wound healing in infected mice. These results reveal that Myr-36PW is a promising antimicrobial agent against bacterial infections.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have recently attracted a great deal of attention as promising antibiotic candidates, but some obstacles such as toxicity and high synthesis cost must be addressed before developing them further. For developing short peptides with improved cell selectivity, we designed a series of modified PMAP-36 analogues. Antimicrobial assays showed that decreasing chain length in a certain range retained the high antimicrobial activity of the parental peptide and reduced hemolysis. The 18-mer peptide RI18 exhibited excellent antimicrobial activity against both bacteria and fungi, and its hemolytic activity was observably lower than PMAP-36 and melittin. The selectivity indexes of RI18 against bacteria and fungi were improved approximately 19-fold and 108-fold, respectively, compared to PMAP-36. In addition, serum did not affect the antibacterial activity of RI18 against E. coli but inhibited the antifungal efficiency against C. albicans. Flow cytometry and electron microscopy observation revealed that RI18 killed microbial cells primarily by damaging membrane integrity, leading to whole cell lysis. Taken together, these results suggest that RI18 has potential for further therapeutic research against frequently-encountered bacteria and fungi. Meanwhile, modification of AMPs is a promising strategy for developing novel antimicrobials to overcome drug-resistance.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which present in the non-specific immune system of organism, are amongst the most promising candidates for the development of novel antimicrobials. The modification of naturally occurring AMPs based on their residue composition and distribution is a simple and effective strategy for optimization of known AMPs. In this study, a series of truncated and residue-substituted derivatives of antimicrobial peptide PMAP-36 were designed and synthesized. The 24-residue truncated peptide, GI24, displayed antimicrobial activity comparable to the mother peptide PMAP-36 with MICs ranging from 1 to 4 µM, which is lower than the MICs of bee venom melittin. Although GI24 displayed high antimicrobial activity, its hemolytic activity was much lower than melittin, suggesting that GI24 have optimal cell selectivity. In addition, the crucial site of GI24 was identified through single site-mutation. An amino acid with high hydrophobicity at position 23 played an important role in guaranteeing the high antimicrobial activity of GI24. Then, lipid vesicles and whole bacteria were employed to investigate the membrane-active mechanisms. Membrane-simulating experiments showed that GI24 interacted strongly with negatively charged phospholipids and weakly with zwitterionic phospholipids, which corresponded well with the data of its biological activities. Membrane permeabilization and flow cytometry provide the evidence that GI24 killed microbial cells by permeabilizing the cell membrane and damaging membrane integrity. GI24 resulted in greater cell morphological changes and visible pores on cell membrane as determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Taken together, the peptide GI24 may provide a promising antimicrobial agent for therapeutic applications against the frequently-encountered bacteria.
Project description:Cyclic lipopeptides act against a variety of plant pathogens and are thus highly efficient crop-protection agents. Some pesticides contain Bacillus subtilis strains that produce lipopeptide families, such as surfactins (SF), iturins (IT), and fengycins (FE). The antimicrobial activity of these peptides is mainly mediated by permeabilizing cellular membranes. We used a fluorescence-lifetime based leakage assay to examine the effect of individual lipid components in model membranes on lipopeptide activity. Leakage induction by FE was strongly inhibited by cholesterol (CHOL) as well as by phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and -glycerol (PG) lipids. Already moderate amounts of CHOL increased the tolerable FE content in membranes by an order of magnitude to 0.5 FE per PC + CHOL. This indicates reduced FE-lipid demixing and aggregation, which is known to be required for membrane permeabilization and explains the strong inhibition by CHOL. Ergosterol (ERG) had a weak antagonistic effect. This confirms results of microbiological tests and agrees with the fungicidal activity and selectivity of FE. SF is known to be much less selective in its antimicrobial action. In line with this, liposome leakage by SF was little affected by sterols and PE. Interestingly, PG increased SF activity and changed its leakage mechanism toward all-or-none, suggesting more specific, larger, and/or longer-lived defect structures. This may be because of the reduced energetic cost of locally accumulating anionic SF in an anionic lipid matrix. IT was found largely inactive in our assays. B. subtilis QST713 produces the lipopeptides in a ratio of 6 mol SF: 37 mol FE: 57 mol IT. Leakage induced by this native mixture was inhibited by CHOL and PE, but unaffected by ERG and by PG in the absence of PE. Note that fungi contain anionic lipids, but little PE. Hence, our data explain the strong, fungicidal activity and selectivity of B. subtilis QST713 lipopeptides.
Project description:Purpose:Staphylococcus aureus is the most common persistent pathogen in humans, so development of new formulations to combat pathogen invasion is quite necessary. Methods:In the current study, for the first time, the synergistic activity of recombinant lysostaphin and LL-37 peptide was studied against S. aureus. Moreover, different niosomal formulations of the peptide and protein were prepared and analyzed in terms of size, shape, zeta potential, and entrapment efficiency. Also, a long-term antibacterial activity of the best niosomal formulation and free forms was measured against S. aureus in vitro. Results:The optimal niosomal formulation was obtained by mixing the surfactants (span60 and tween60; 2:1 w/w), cholesterol, and dicetylphosphate at a ratio of 47:47:6, respectively. They showed uniform spherical shapes with the size of 565 and 325 nm for lysostaphin and LL-37, respectively. This formulation showed high entrapment efficiency for the peptide, protein, and a slow-release profile over time. Release kinetic was best fitted by Higuchi model indicating a diffusion-based release of the drugs. The lysostaphin/LL-37 niosomal formulation synergistically inhibited growth of S. aureus for up to 72 hours. However, the same amounts of free forms of both anti-microbial agents could not hold the anti-microbial effect and growth was seen in the following 72 hours. Cytotoxicity assay specified that lysostaphin/LL-37 niosomal combination had no deleterious effect on normal fibroblast cells at effective antimicrobial concentrations. Conclusion:This study indicated that the use of lysostaphin in combination with LL-37, either in niosomal or free forms, synergistically inhibited growth of S. aureus in vitro. In addition, niosomal preparation of antimicrobial agents could provide a long-term protection against bacterial infections.
Project description:Instability of targeting ligand is a roadblock towards successful development of folate targeted liposomes. Folate ligands have been linked to polyethylene glycol (PEG) and cholesterol by an amide bond to form folate-CONH-PEG-CONH-Cholesterol (F-CONH-PEG-CONH-Chol), which is subject to hydrolysis. To increase the stability of folate ligands and promote the long circulation and targeting effects, we synthesized a chemically stable lipophilic folate derivative, folate-CONH-PEG-NH-Cholesterol (F-CONH-PEG-NH-Chol), where the amide bond was replaced by a C-N bond, to deliver liposomal doxorubicin (Dox). Its physical stability, cellular uptake, cellular toxicity, pharmacokinetics, distribution, anti-tumor efficacy, and cardiac toxicity were investigated. Our results indicate that F-CONH-PEG-NH-Chol conjugated liposomes are taken up selectively by folate receptor-positive HeLa and KB cells. Compared with F-CONH-PEG-CONH-Chol with two carbonate linkages, F-CONH-PEG-NH-Chol better retained its drug entrapment efficiency and folate receptor-targeting activity during prolonged circulation. F-CONH-PEG-NH-Chol thus represents a physically stable and effective ligand for delivering folate receptor-targeted liposomes, with prolonged circulation time and efficient tissue distribution, as well as higher efficacy and less cardiac toxicity. Collectively, these results suggest that this novel conjugate can serve as a promising derivative for the delivery of anti-tumor therapeutic agents.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Natural high-density lipoproteins (HDL) possess important physiological functions to the transport of cholesterol from the peripheral tissues to the liver for metabolic degradation and excretion in the bile. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this work, we took advantage of this pathway and prepared two different gadolinium (Gd)-DTPA-labeled cholesterol-containing recombinant HDL nanoparticles (Gd-chol-HDL) and Gd-(chol)(2)-HDL as liver-specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. The reconstituted HDL nanoparticles had structural similarity to native HDL, and could be taken up by HepG2 cells via interaction with HDL receptors in vitro. In vivo MRI studies in rats after intravenous injections of 10 ?mol gadolinium per kg of recombinant HDL nanoparticles indicated that both nanoparticles could provide signal enhancement in the liver and related organs. However, different T(1)-weighted image details suggested that they participated in different cholesterol metabolism and excretion pathways in the liver. CONCLUSION: Such information could be highly useful to differentiate functional changes as well as anatomic differences in the liver. These cholesterol-derived contrast agents and their recombinant HDL preparations may warrant further development as a new class of contrast agents for MRI of the liver and related organs.
Project description:In the aim of testing tools for tracing cell trafficking of exogenous cholesterol, two fluorescent derivatives of cholesterol, 22-nitrobenzoxadiazole-cholesterol (NBD-Chol) and 21-methylpyrenyl-cholesterol (Pyr-met-Chol), with distinctive chemico-physical characteristics, have been compared for their cell incorporation properties, using two cell models differently handling cholesterol, with two incorporation routes. In the Caco-2 cell model, the cholesterol probes were delivered in bile salt micelles, as a model of intestinal absorption. The two probes displayed contrasting behaviors for cell uptake characteristics, cell staining, and efflux kinetics. In particular, Pyr-met-Chol cell incorporation involved SR-BI, while that of NBD-Chol appeared purely passive. In the PC-3 cell model, which overexpresses lipoprotein receptors, the cholesterol probes were delivered via the serum components, as a model of systemic delivery. We showed that Pyr-met-Chol-labelled purified LDL or HDL were able to specifically deliver Pyr-met-Chol to the PC-3 cells, while NBD-Chol incorporation was independent of lipoproteins. Observations by fluorescence microscopy evidenced that, while NBD-Chol readily stained the cytosolic lipid droplets, Pyr-met-Chol labelling led to the intense staining of intracellular structures of membranous nature, in agreement with the absence of detectable esterification of Pyr-met-Chol. A 48 h incubation of PC-3 cells with either Pyr-met-Chol-labelled LDL or HDL gave same staining patterns, mainly colocalizing with Lamp1, caveolin-1 and CD63. These data indicated convergent trafficking downwards their respective receptors, LDL-R and SR-BI, toward the cholesterol-rich internal membrane compartments, late endosomes and multivesicular bodies. Interestingly, Pyr-met-Chol staining of these structures exhibited a high excimer fluorescence emission, revealing their ordered membrane environment, and indicating that Pyr-met-Chol behaves as a fair cholesterol tracer regarding its preferential incorporation into cholesterol-rich domains. We conclude that, while NBD-Chol is a valuable marker of cholesterol esterification, Pyr-met-Chol is a reliable new lipoprotein fluorescent marker which allows to probe specific intracellular trafficking of cholesterol-rich membranes.
Project description:Sphingolipids constitute a significant fraction of cellular plasma membrane lipid content. Among sphingolipids, ceramide levels are usually very low. However, in some cell processes like apoptosis, cell membrane ceramide levels increase markedly because of the activation of enzymes like acid sphingomyelinase. This increase can change the physical state of the membrane by promoting molecular order and inducing solid-ordered (So) phase domains. This effect has been observed in a previous 2H NMR study on membranes consisting of palmitoyl sphingomyelin (PSM) and palmitoyl ceramide (PCer). Cholesterol (Chol), too, is present at high concentrations in mammalian plasma membranes and has a favorable interaction with sphingomyelin (SM), together forming domains in the liquid-ordered phase in model membranes. There are reports that Chol is able to displace ceramide (Cer) in SM bilayers and abolish the So phase domains formed by SM:Cer. This ability of Chol appears to be concentration dependent; in membranes with low Chol and high Cer contents, So phase domains rich in Cer coexist with the continuous fluid phase of the membrane. Here, we studied the effect of increasing PCer concentration in PSM:Chol bilayers, using 2H NMR. Chol:PCer mole ratios were 3:1, 3:2, and 3:3, at a fixed 7:3 phospholipid:cholesterol mol ratio. Both PSM and PCer were monitored in separate samples for changes in their physical state by introducing a perdeuterated palmitoyl chain in either molecule. Moreover, the effect of replacing PSM with DPPC was investigated to test the impact on membrane phase behavior of replacing the sphingosine with a palmitoylated glycerol backbone. We found that PCer can increase acyl chain order in both PSM:Chol and DPPC:Chol bilayers. Especially in bilayers with Chol:PCer 1:1 molar ratios, PCer induces highly stable So phase domains in both PSM and DPPC bilayers near 37°C. However, PCer has a more pronounced ordering effect on PSM compared to DPPC bilayers.