Article: Design, structural and functional characterization of a Temporin-1b analog active against Gram negative bacteria.Concetta Avitabile, Fortuna Netti, Giuseppina Orefice, Maddalena Palmieri, Nunzia Nocerino, Gaetano Malgieri, Luca D D'Andrea, Rosanna Capparelli, Roberto Fattorusso, Alessandra Romanelli[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Temporins are small antimicrobial peptides secreted by the Rana temporaria showing mainly activity against Gram-positive bacteria. However, different members of the temporin family, such as Temporin B, act in synergy also against Gram-negative bacteria. With the aim to develop a peptide with a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity we designed and analyzed a series of Temporin B analogs. METHODS: Peptides were initially obtained by Ala scanning on Temporin B sequence; antimicrobial activity tests allowed to identify the TB_G6A sequence, which was further optimized by increasing the peptide positive charge (TB_KKG6A). Interactions of this active peptide with the LPS of E. coli were investigated by CD, fluorescence and NMR. RESULTS: TB_KKG6A is active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria at low concentrations. The peptide strongly interacts with the LPS of Gram negative bacteria and folds upon interaction into a kinked helix. CONCLUSION: Our results show that it is possible to widen the activity spectrum of an antimicrobial peptide by subtle changes of the primary structure. TB_KKG6A, having a simple composition, a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity and a very low hemolytic activity, is a promising candidate for the design of novel antimicrobial peptides. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: The activity of antimicrobial peptides is strongly related to the ability of the peptide to interact and break the bacterial membrane. Our studies on TB_KKG6A indicate that efficient interactions with LPS can be achieved when the peptide is not perfectly amphipathic, since this feature seems to help the toroidal pore formation process.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 02/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Since the introduction of SPPS by Merrifield in the 60s, peptide chemists have considered the possibility of preparing large proteins. The introduction of native chemical ligation in the 90s and then of expressed protein ligation have opened the way to the preparation of synthetic proteins without size limitations. This review focuses on semi-synthetic strategies useful to prepare proteins decorated with spectroscopic probes, like fluorescent labels and stable isotopes, and their biophysical applications. We show that expressed protein ligation, combining the advantages of organic chemistry with the easy and size limitless recombinant protein expression, is an excellent strategy for the chemical synthesis of labeled proteins, enabling a single protein to be functionalized at one or even more distinct positions with different probes.Molecules 01/2013; 18(1):440-65. · 2.39 Impact Factor
Article: New perspectives for natural antimicrobial peptides: application as antinflammatory drugs in a murine model.Rosanna Capparelli, Francesco De Chiara, Nunzia Nocerino, Rosa Chiara Montella, Marco Iannaccone, Andrea Fulgione, Alessandra Romanelli, Concetta Avitabile, Giuseppe Blaiotta, Federico Capuano[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an ancient group of defense molecules. AMPs are widely distributed in nature (being present in mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, plants, and microorganisms). They display bactericidal as well as immunomodulatory properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities of a combination of two AMPs (temporin B and the royal jellein I) against Staphylococcus epidermidis. RESULTS: The temporin B (TB-KK) and the royal jelleins I, II, III chemically modified at the C terminal (RJI-C, RJII-C, RJIII-C), were tested for their activity against 10 different Staphylococcus epidermidis strains, alone and in combination. Of the three royal jelleins, RJI-C showed the highest activity. Moreover, the combination of RJI-C and TB-KK (MIX) displayed synergistic activity. In vitro, the MIX displayed low hemolytic activity, no NO2- production and the ability to curb the synthesis of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma to the same extent as acetylsalicylic acid. In vivo, the MIX sterilized mice infected with Staphylococcus epidermidis in eleven days and inhibited the expression of genes encoding the prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (COX-2) and CD64, two important parameters of inflammation. CONCLUSION: The study shows that the MIX -- a combination of two naturally occurring peptides - displays both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.BMC Immunology 11/2012; 13(1):61. · 2.53 Impact Factor
Article: Targeting pre-miRNA by peptide nucleic acids: a new strategy to interfere in the miRNA maturation.Concetta Avitabile, Michele Saviano, Luca D'Andrea, Nicoletta Bianchi, Enrica Fabbri, Eleonora Brognara, Roberto Gambari, Alessandra Romanelli[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: PNAs conjugated to carrier peptides have been employed for the targeting of miRNA precursor, with the aim to develop molecules able to interfere in the pre-miRNA processing. The capability of the molecules to bind pre-miRNA has been tested in vitro by fluorescence assayes on Thiazole Orange labeled molecules and in vivo, in K562 cells, evaluating the amount of miRNA produced after treatment of cells with two amounts of PNAs.Artificial DNA, PNA & XNA. 04/2012; 3(2):88-96.
Article: Effects of decoy molecules targeting NF-kappaB transcription factors in Cystic fibrosis IB3-1 cells: recruitment of NF-kappaB to the IL-8 gene promoter and transcription of the IL-8 gene.Alessia Finotti, Monica Borgatti, Valentino Bezzerri, Elena Nicolis, Ilaria Lampronti, Maria Dechecchi, Irene Mancini, Giulio Cabrini, Michele Saviano, Concetta Avitabile, Alessandra Romanelli, Roberto Gambari[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: One of the clinical features of cystic fibrosis (CF) is a deep inflammatory process, which is characterized by production and release of cytokines and chemokines, among which interleukin 8 (IL-8) represents one of the most important. Accordingly, there is a growing interest in developing therapies against CF to reduce the excessive inflammatory response in the airways of CF patients. Since transcription factor NF-kappaB plays a critical role in IL-8 expression, the transcription factor decoy (TFD) strategy might be of interest. In order to demonstrate that TFD against NF-kappaB interferes with the NF-kappaB pathway we proved, by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) that treatment with TFD oligodeoxyribonucleotides of cystic fibrosis IB3-1 cells infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa leads to a decrease occupancy of the Il-8 gene promoter by NF-kappaB factors. In order to develop more stable therapeutic molecules, peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) based agents were considered. In this respect PNA-DNA-PNA (PDP) chimeras are molecules of great interest from several points of view: (1) they can be complexed with liposomes and microspheres; (2) they are resistant to DNases, serum and cytoplasmic extracts; (3) they are potent decoy molecules. By using electrophoretic mobility shift assay and RT-PCR analysis we have demonstrated that (1) the effects of PDP/PDP NF-kappaB decoy chimera on accumulation of pro-inflammatory mRNAs in P.aeruginosa infected IB3-1 cells reproduce that of decoy oligonucleotides; in particular (2) the PDP/PDP chimera is a strong inhibitor of IL-8 gene expression; (3) the effect of PDP/PDP chimeras, unlike those of ODN-based decoys, are observed even in the absence of protection with lipofectamine. These informations are of great impact, in our opinion, for the development of stable molecules to be used in non-viral gene therapy of cystic fibrosis.Artificial DNA, PNA & XNA. 04/2012; 3(2):97-296.