[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) isolated from several organisms have been receiving much attention due to some specific features that allow them to interact with, bind to, and disrupt cell membranes. The aim of this paper was to study the interactions between a membrane mimetic and the cationic AMP Ctx(Ile(21))-Ha as well as analogues containing the paramagnetic amino acid 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl-4-amino-4-carboxylic acid (TOAC) incorporated at residue positions n = 0, 2, and 13. Circular dichroism studies showed that the peptides, except for [TOAC(13)]Ctx(Ile(21))-Ha, are unstructured in aqueous solution but acquire different amounts of α-helical secondary structure in the presence of trifluorethanol and lysophosphocholine micelles. Fluorescence experiments indicated that all peptides were able to interact with LPC micelles. In addition, Ctx(Ile(21))-Ha and [TOAC(13)]Ctx(Ile(21))-Ha peptides presented similar water accessibility for the Trp residue located near the N-terminal sequence. Electron spin resonance experiments showed two spectral components for [TOAC(0)]Ctx(Ile(21))-Ha, which are most likely due to two membrane-bound peptide conformations. In contrast, TOAC(2) and TOAC(13) derivatives presented a single spectral component corresponding to a strong immobilization of the probe. Thus, our findings allowed the description of the peptide topology in the membrane mimetic, where the N-terminal region is in dynamic equilibrium between an ordered, membrane-bound conformation and a disordered, mobile conformation; position 2 is most likely situated in the lipid polar head group region, and residue 13 is fully inserted into the hydrophobic core of the membrane.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e60818. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increase in bacterial resistance to current antibiotics has led to the development of new active molecules. We have isolated the antimicrobial peptide Ctx-Ha from the skin secretion of the frog Hypsiboas albopunctatus. The aim of the present work was to elucidate the mechanism of action of this new antimicrobial peptide. The sequence similarity with Ceratotoxin, the pore size, and the pore-like release of carboxyfluorescein from vesicles indicated that Ctx(Ile21)-Ha has a mechanism of action based on the barrel- stave model. In a second part of this work, we synthesized three analogues to provide information about the relationship between the peptide's structure and its biological activity. Ctx(Ile21)-Ha-VD 16, Ctx(Ile21)- Ha-VD 5,16 and Ctx(Ile21)-Ha-I9K were designed to disrupt the peptide's helical structure and change the hydrophobicity/ hydrophilicity and amphipathicity of the apolar face in order to uncouple the antimicrobial activity of Ctx(Ile21)-Ha from its hemolytic activity. To evaluate the effects of the amino acid substitutions on peptide conformation, secondary structure was accessed using CD measurements. The peptides presented a high amount of α-helical structure in the presence of TFE and LPC. The CD data showed that destruction of the amphipathic α-helix by the replacing isoleucine by lysine is less harmful to the structure than D-amino acid substitutions. Biological tests demonstrated that all peptides have activity. Nevertheless, the peptide Ctx(Ile21)-Ha-I9K showed the highest value of therapeutic index. Our findings suggest that these peptides are potential templates for the development of new antimicrobial drugs. These studies highlight the importance of single amino acid modification as a tool to modulate the biological activity of antimicrobial peptides.
Protein and Peptide Letters 04/2012; 19(6):596-603. · 1.99 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well known that cationic antimicrobial peptides (cAMPs) are potential microbicidal agents for the increasing problem of antimicrobial resistance. However, the physicochemical properties of each peptide need to be optimized for clinical use. To evaluate the effects of dimerization on the structure and biological activity of the antimicrobial peptide Ctx-Ha, we have synthesized the monomeric and three dimeric (Lys-branched) forms of the Ctx-Ha peptide by solid-phase peptide synthesis using a combination of 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl (Fmoc) and t-butoxycarbonyl (Boc) chemical approaches. The antimicrobial activity assay showed that dimerization decreases the ability of the peptide to inhibit growth of bacteria or fungi; however, the dimeric analogs displayed a higher level of bactericidal activity. In addition, a dramatic increase (50 times) in hemolytic activity was achieved with these analogs. Permeabilization studies showed that the rate of carboxyfluorescein release was higher for the dimeric peptides than for the monomeric peptide, especially in vesicles that contained sphingomyelin. Despite different biological activities, the secondary structure and pore diameter were not significantly altered by dimerization. In contrast to the case for other dimeric cAMPs, we have shown that dimerization selectively decreases the antimicrobial activity of this peptide and increases the hemolytic activity. The results also show that the interaction between dimeric peptides and the cell wall could be responsible for the decrease of the antimicrobial activity of these peptides.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 03/2012; 56(6):3004-10. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of very highly substituted resins has been avoided for peptide synthesis due to the aggravation of chain-chain interactions within beads. To better evaluate this problem, a combined solvation-peptide synthesis approach was herein developed taking as models, several peptide-resins and with peptide contents values increasing up to near 85%. Influence of peptide sequence and loading to solvation characteristics of these compounds was observed. Moreover, chain-chain distance and chain concentration within the bead were also calculated in different loaded conditions. Of note, a severe shrinking of beads occurred during the α-amine deprotonation step only when in heavily loaded resins, thus suggesting the need for the modification of the solvent system at this step. Finally, the yields of different syntheses in low and heavily loaded conditions were comparable, thus indicating the feasibility of applying this latter "prohibitive" chemical synthesis protocol. We thought these results might be basically credited to the possibility, without the need of increasing molar excess of reactants, of carrying out the coupling reaction in higher concentration of reactants - near three to seven folds - favored by the use of smaller amount of resin. Additionally, the alteration in the solvent system at the α-amine deprotonation step might be also improving the peptide synthesis when in heavily loaded experimental protocol.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this work, we monitor the alterations caused in membrane model systems upon the addition of biologically-relevant peptides. Our first study reports on the interaction with model membranes of an internal fusion peptide (SARSIFP) from the S2 subunit of the SARS coronavirus spike glycoprotein. It is believed that SARSIFP might be fundamental for the later steps of the fusion between the viral and host cellular membranes. Non-linear least-squares fits of stearic acid spin labels ESR spectra showed that the rotational dynamics of the HPS headgroup region and of the whole carbon chain of SDS surfactants was perturbed by the peptide. Additionally, Tyr fluorescence quenching promoted by spin labels locates this residue in the aqueous interface of HPS and in the hydrophobic core of SDS micelles. The second investigation deals with the conformational changes induced by interactions with model membranes of three TOAC-labeled peptide analogues derived from a new antimicrobial peptide extracted from the skin secretion of the frog Hypsiboas albopunctatus. Our results shed light on how the peptides labeled at positions 0, 2, and 13 interact with DPPC/DPPA/X (X = DPPE, SM, and CL) liposomes and LPC micelles. The findings allowed the description of the peptide topology into the membrane, where the N-terminal region is solvent-exposed, position 2 is at the interface, and position 13 is fully inserted. Financial Support: FAPESP, CNPq, CAPES.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In spite of all progressive efforts aiming to optimize SPPS, serious problems mainly affecting the assembly of aggregating sequences have persisted. Following the study intended to unravel the complex solvation phenomenon of peptide–resin beads, the XING and XAAAA model aggregating segments were labeled with a paramagnetic probe and studied via EPR spectroscopy. Low and high substituted resins were also comparatively used, with the X residue being Asx or Glx containing the main protecting groups used in the SPPS. Notably, the cyclo-hexyl group used for Asp and Glu residues in Boc-chemistry induced greater chain immobilization than its tert-butyl partner-protecting group of the Fmoc strategy. Otherwise, the most impressive peptide chain immobilization occurred when the large trytil group was used for Asn and Gln protection in Fmoc-chemistry. These surprising results thus seem to stress the possibility of the relevant influence of the amino-acid side chain protecting groups in the overall peptide synthesis yield.