High specific selectivity and Membrane-Active Mechanism of the synthetic centrosymmetric α-helical peptides with Gly-Gly pairs
We used a template-assisted approach to develop synthetic antimicrobial peptides, which differ from naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides that can compromise host natural defenses. Previous researches have demonstrated that symmetrical distribution patterns of amino acids contribute to the antimicrobial activity of natural peptides. However, there is little research describing such design ideas for synthetic α-helical peptides. Therefore, here, we established a centrosymmetric α-helical sequence template (y + hhh + y)n (h, hydrophobic amino acid; +, cationic amino acid; y, Gly or hydrophobic amino acid), which contributed to amphipathicity, and a series of centrosymmetric peptides was designed with pairs of small amino acids (Ala and Gly), which were utilized to modulate the biological activity. The centrosymmetric peptides with 3 repeat units exhibited strong antimicrobial activity; in particular, the Gly-rich centrosymmetric peptide GG3 showed stronger selectivity for gram-negative bacteria without hemolysis. Furthermore, beyond our expectation, fluorescence spectroscopy and electron microscopy analyses indicated that the GG3, which possessed poor α-helix conformation, dramatically exhibited marked membrane destruction via inducing bacterial membrane permeabilization, pore formation and disruption, even bound DNA to further exert antimicrobial activity. Collectively, the Gly-rich centrosymmetric peptide GG3 was an ideal candidate for commercialization as a clinical therapeutic to treat gram-negative bacterial infections.
[…] The primary sequence analysis of the centrosymmetric peptides were performed online using EMBOSS Pepinfo (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/seqstats/emboss_pepinfo/). The secondary structure type for each residue was predicted online using Jpred 3 (http://www.compbio.dundee.ac.uk/www-jpred/index.html). The helical wheel projection and relative hydrophobic moment were performed online using the Heliquest analysis (http://heliquest.ipmc.cnrs.fr/cgi-bin/ComputParamsV2.py). […]
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