The emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a worldwide health problem. Antimi-crobial peptides have been recognized as potential alternatives to conventional antibiotics, but still require optimization. The proline-rich antimicrobial peptide Bac7(1-16) is active against only a limited number of Gram-negative bacteria. It kills bacteria by inhibiting protein synthesis after its internalization, which is mainly supported by the bacterial transporter SbmA. In this study, we tested two different lipidated forms of Bac7(1-16) with the aim of extending its activity against those bacterial species that lack SbmA. We linked a C12-alkyl chain or an ultrashort cationic lipopeptide Lp-I to the C-terminus of Bac7(1-16). Both the lipidated Bac-C12 and Bac-Lp-I forms acquired activity at low micromolar MIC values against several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Moreover, unlike Bac7(1-16), Bac-C12, and Bac-Lp-I did not select resistant mutants in E. coli after 14 times of exposure to sub-MIC concentrations of the respective peptide. We demonstrated that the extended spectrum of activity and absence of de novo resistance are likely related to the acquired capability of the peptides to permeabilize cell membranes. These results indicate that C-terminal lipidation of a short proline-rich peptide profoundly alters its function and mode of action and provides useful insights into the design of novel broad-spectrum antibacterial agents.

Effects of lipidation on a proline-rich antibacterial peptide

Di Stasi A.;Mardirossian M.;Benincasa M.;Scocchi M.
2021-01-01

Abstract

The emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a worldwide health problem. Antimi-crobial peptides have been recognized as potential alternatives to conventional antibiotics, but still require optimization. The proline-rich antimicrobial peptide Bac7(1-16) is active against only a limited number of Gram-negative bacteria. It kills bacteria by inhibiting protein synthesis after its internalization, which is mainly supported by the bacterial transporter SbmA. In this study, we tested two different lipidated forms of Bac7(1-16) with the aim of extending its activity against those bacterial species that lack SbmA. We linked a C12-alkyl chain or an ultrashort cationic lipopeptide Lp-I to the C-terminus of Bac7(1-16). Both the lipidated Bac-C12 and Bac-Lp-I forms acquired activity at low micromolar MIC values against several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Moreover, unlike Bac7(1-16), Bac-C12, and Bac-Lp-I did not select resistant mutants in E. coli after 14 times of exposure to sub-MIC concentrations of the respective peptide. We demonstrated that the extended spectrum of activity and absence of de novo resistance are likely related to the acquired capability of the peptides to permeabilize cell membranes. These results indicate that C-terminal lipidation of a short proline-rich peptide profoundly alters its function and mode of action and provides useful insights into the design of novel broad-spectrum antibacterial agents.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2994496
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