Potent Chimeric Antimicrobial Derivatives of the Medicago truncatula NCR247 Symbiotic Peptide

In this study we designed and synthetized various derivatives of NCR247, including shorter fragments and various chimeric derivatives. The antimicrobial activity of these peptides was tested on the ESKAPE bacteria; Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli as a member of Enterobacteriaceae and in addition Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica. The 12 amino acid long C-terminal half of NCR247, NCR247C partially retained the antimicrobial activity and preserved the multitarget interactions with partners of NCR247. Nevertheless NCR247C became ineffective on S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and L. monocytogenes. The chimeric derivatives obtained by fusion of NCR247C with other peptide fragments and particularly with a truncated mastoparan sequence significantly increased bactericidal activity and altered the antimicrobial spectrum. The minimal bactericidal concentration of the most potent derivatives was 1.6 μM, which is remarkably lower than that of most classical antibiotics. The killing activity of the NCR247-based chimeric peptides was practically instant. Importantly, these peptides had no hemolytic activity or cytotoxicity on human cells. The properties of these NCR derivatives make them promising antimicrobials for clinical use.
Source: Frontiers in Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research

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