Nav: Home

A promising strategy to increase activity in antimicrobial peptides

April 03, 2017

In an article published recently in Plos One, researchers from INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre reported a strategy that could lead to the discovery of new cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) with greatly enhanced antimicrobial properties. The peptide modified for the study retained considerable activity against biofilms responsible for increasing the severity of various infections. The strategy thus holds promise for combatting multidrug resistant bacteria.

For the purpose of the study, the researchers selected a peptide--pep1037--already known for its antimicrobial potential and antibiofilm activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia, two pathogens responsible for serious complications in individuals with cystic fibrosis. The peptide was modified by adding a cysteine to the end to generate a dimer. The antimicrobial activity of the new molecule was 60 times greater than that of the original peptide.

"Our results show that the dimer is of significant interest because it has a dual potential to inhibit both bacterial and biofilm growth. It could potentially be used for therapy in combination with clinically relevant antibiotics," explained the authors of the study.

Although there are currently no clinically approved antimicrobials that target bacterial biofilms, an estimated 80% of all bacterial infections have a biofilm component. These infections are much more difficult to eradicate because they are 10-1,000 times more resistant to antibiotic treatment. The formation of biofilms is associated with severe antibiotic resistance in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, among others.

To date, very few studies have reported on the effect of dimerizing cationic antimicrobial peptides by adding a cysteine, especially at the specific location modified by the researchers, i.e., at the end.

The results obtained pave the way to improving this class of antibiotics, which occur naturally in many organisms.
-end-
About the study

The study was conducted by Amal Thamri, Myriam Létourneau, Alex Djoboulian, David Chatenet, Eric Déziel, Annie Castonguay, and Jonathan Perreault of INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre. The results are presented in the article "Peptide modification results in the formation of a dimer with a 60-fold enhanced antimicrobial activity," which appeared in the March 2017 issue of Plos One. The researchers received financial support from Fonds de recherche du Québec -- Santé; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and Fondation Armand-Frappier. DOI: 10.371/journal.pone0173783

Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS

Related Antibiotics Articles:

Antibiotics promote resistance on experimental croplands
Canadian researchers have generated both novel and existing antibiotic resistance mechanisms on experimental farmland, by exposing the soil to specific antibiotics.
Why antibiotics fail
UCSB biologists correct a flaw in the way bacterial susceptibility to these drugs is tested.
Fungi have enormous potential for new antibiotics
Fungi are a potential goldmine for the production of pharmaceuticals.
Antibiotics can boost bacterial reproduction
The growth of bacteria can be stimulated by antibiotics, scientists at the University of Exeter have discovered.
Last-line antibiotics are failing
The ECDC's latest data on antimicrobial resistance and consumption shows that in 2015, antibiotic resistance continued to increase for most bacteria and antibiotics under surveillance.
More Antibiotics News and Antibiotics Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...