Main content area

Mo-CBP3-PepI, Mo-CBP3-PepII, and Mo-CBP3-PepIII are synthetic antimicrobial peptides active against human pathogens by stimulating ROS generation and increasing plasma membrane permeability

Oliveira, Jose T.A., Souza, Pedro F.N., Vasconcelos, Ilka M., Dias, Lucas P., Martins, Thiago F., Van Tilburg, Mauricio F., Guedes, Maria I.F., Sousa, Daniele O.B.
Biochimie 2019 v.157 pp. 10-21
Candida parapsilosis, Moringa oleifera, Staphylococcus aureus, animal pathogens, anti-infective agents, antimicrobial peptides, antimicrobial properties, antimicrobial proteins, bacteria, bioinformatics, drugs, fungi, humans, intestines, membrane permeability, pepsin, plasma membrane, seeds, toxicity, virulent strains
The efficiency of current antimicrobial drugs is noticeably decreasing and thus the development of new treatments is necessary. Natural and synthetic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have attracted great attention as promising candidates. Inspired on Mo-CBP3, an antimicrobial protein from Moringa oleifera seeds, we designed and synthesized three AMPs named Mo-CBP3-PepI, Mo-CBP3-PepII, and Mo-CBP3-PepIII. All these three peptides inhibited the growth of Candida species and pathogenic bacteria, penetrate into microbial cells, but none is hemolytic or toxic to human cells. Mo-CBP3-PepIII, particularly, showed the strongest antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida species, important human pathogens. Additionally, Mo-CBP3-PepIII did not exhibit hemolytic or toxic activity to mammalian cells, but increased Staphylococcus aureus plasma membrane permeabilization. In Candida parapsilosis, Mo-CBP3-PepIII induced pore formation in the plasma membrane and overproduction of reactive oxygen species. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that Mo-CBP3-PepIII is resistant to pepsin digestion and other proteolytic enzymes present in the intestinal environment, which opens the possibility of oral delivery in future treatments. Together, these results suggest that Mo-CBP3-PepIII has great potential as an antimicrobial agent against the bacterium S. aureus and the fungi C. parapsilosis.