Synthetic Mimics of Antimicrobial Peptides with Immunomodulatory Responses

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (Impact Factor: 12.11). 06/2012; 134(27):11088-91. DOI: 10.1021/ja303304j
Source: PubMed


A new series of aryl-based synthetic mimics of antimicrobial peptides (SMAMPs) with antimicrobial activity and selectivity have been developed via systematic tuning of the aromatic groups and charge. The addition of a pendant aromatic group improved the antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria, while the addition of charge improved the selectivity. SMAMP 4 with six charges and a naphthalene central ring demonstrated a selectivity of 200 against both Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli , compared with a selectivity of 8 for the peptide MSI-78. In addition to the direct antimicrobial activity, SMAMP 4 exhibited specific immunomodulatory activities in macrophages both in the presence and in the absence of lipopolysaccharide, a TLR agonist. SMAMP 4 also induced the production of a neutrophil chemoattractant, murine KC, in mouse primary cells. This is the first nonpeptidic SMAMP demonstrating both good antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities.

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    • "Development of anti-infective drugs based on HDPs has been hampered by problems with toxicity and poor bioavailability due to in vivo proteolytic degradation [42]. To circumvent these problems, we and others have developed synthetic HDP mimics with improved characteristics such as increased protease resistance [43] [44] [45]. Stable HDP mimics based on a design with alternating a-amino acids and peptoid residues (see Fig. 1A) have been found to exhibit antimicrobial activity against planktonic bacteria and biofilm and to possess antiplasmodial as well as immunomodulatory activities [43,46–49]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Immunomodulatory host defense peptides (HDPs) are considered to be lead compounds for novel anti-sepsis and anti-inflammatory agents. However, development of drugs based on HDPs has been hampered by problems with toxicity and low bioavailability due to in vivo proteolysis. Here, a subclass of proteolytically stable HDP mimics consisting of lipidated α-peptide/β-peptoid oligomers was investigated for their effect on neutrophil function. The most promising compound, Pam-(Lys-βNSpe)6-NH2, was shown to inhibit formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2) agonist-induced neutrophil granule mobilization and release of reactive oxygen species. The potency of Pam-(Lys-βNSpe)6-NH2 was comparable to that of PBP10, the most potent FPR2-selective inhibitor known. The immunomodulatory effects of structural analogues of Pam-(Lys-βNSpe)6-NH2 emphasized the importance of both the lipid and peptidomimetic parts. By using imaging flow cytometry in primary neutrophils and FPR-transfected cell lines we found that a fluorescently labelled analogue of Pam-(Lys-βNSpe)6-NH2 interacted selectively with FPR2. Furthermore the interaction between Pam-(Lys-βNSpe)6-NH2 and FPR2 was found to prevent binding of the FPR2-specific activating peptide agonist Cy5-WKYMWM, while the binding of a FPR1-selective agonist was not inhibited. To our knowledge, Pam-(Lys-βNSpe)6-NH2 is the first HDP mimic found to inhibit activation of human neutrophils via direct interaction with FPR2. Hence, we consider Pam-(Lys-βNSpe)6-NH2 to be a convenient tool in the further dissection of the role of FPR2 in inflammation and homeostasis as well as for investigation of the importance of neutrophil stimulation in anti-infective therapy involving HDPs. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Biochemical Pharmacology 11/2014; 93(2). DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2014.11.004 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    • "Recently, some AMPs (Steinstraesser et al. 2011; Mookherjee et al. 2007; Choi et al. 2012) and their synthetic mimics (Thaker et al. 2012) are also found to exhibit host-beneficial immunomodulatory effects (induce anti-inflammatory and/or inhibit pro-inflammatory chemokine production in immune cells). Furthermore, not only Gram-positive and Gram-negative microbes, but also viruses, fungi, protozoa and tumor cells are susceptible to AMPs (Yeung et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Taking a minimalistic approach in efforts to lower the cost for the development of new synthetic antimicrobial peptides, ultrashort cationic lipopeptides were designed to mimic the amphiphilic nature crucial for their activity but with only a very short peptide sequence ligated to a lipidic acid. Nine ultrashort cationic lipopeptides were prepared to study the effects of ring constraint in the amino acid side chain of the peptide component. USCL-PCat1, consisting of only four L-4R-aminoproline residues and acylated with palmitic acid at the N-terminus, was found to populate a polyproline II helical secondary conformation that is stable to different pHs and temperatures using circular dichroism. The synthesized lipopeptides were found to have a micellar structure in water using negative staining transmission electron microscopy. We found that constraining the side chain of the amino acid component is not beneficial to the antimicrobial activity. USCL-Dab1, USCL-Dab3 and USCL-K1 showed promising activity against a panel of laboratory reference and clinically isolated Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains, some of which are multidrug resistant. No appreciable cytotoxicity against human monocytic THP-1 cells was observed up to concentrations of 20-40 µM for all synthesized compounds. Moreover, all USCLs did not induce the production of either pro-inflammatory cytokines or chemokines up to 40 µM.
    Amino Acids 07/2014; 46(11). DOI:10.1007/s00726-014-1806-z · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of ultrashort lipopeptides and lipopeptoids were tested for their ability to induce cytokine production in macrophages. Fourteen compounds were found to strongly induce production of chemokines Groα and IL-8, with a structural bias that was absent from previous antibacterial activity investigations. Compounds based on LysGlyLys and NLysGlyNLys sequences did not induce cytokine production, whereas those based on LysLysLys and NLysNLysNLys were active only when linked to a lipid tail at least sixteen carbons long. Three lipopeptides induced high levels of IL-8 production, above that of equivalent concentrations of cathelicidin LL-37, while no compound induced production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α at or below 100 µM. Two compounds, peptoids C16OH-NLysNLysNLys and C16OH-NHarNHarNHar, were selective for IL-8 production and did not induce TNF-α or IL-1β. These compounds may prove beneficial for in vivo treatment of infectious disease, with improved bioavailability over LL-37 due to their protease-resistant scaffold.
    PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e54280. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0054280 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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