1. Antibacterial properties of dermaseptin S4 derivatives with in vivo activity
Shiri Navon-Venezia, Rina Feder, Leonid Gaidukov, Yehuda Carmeli, Amram Mor Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2002 Mar;46(3):689-94. doi: 10.1128/AAC.46.3.689-694.2002.
Derivatives of the cytotoxic peptide dermaseptin S4 have recently emerged as potential antimicrobial agents. Here, we report on the antibacterial properties of three derivatives with improved toxicity profiles: a 28-residues K4K20-S4 and two shorter versions, K4-S4(1-16) and K4-S4(1-13). The range of MICs of K4K20-S4 against clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli were, respectively, 1 to 4, 1 to 4, and 1 to 16 microg/ml. MICs of the short derivatives were rather similar or two to fourfold higher. Each of the three peptides was rapidly bactericidal in vitro, reducing the number of viable CFU of either E. coli or S. aureus by 6 log units in 30 min or less. Compared with MSI-78 or PG-1, K4-S4(1-13) was at least as potent against bacteria (assessed at two MIC multiples) but displayed lesser toxicity against human erythrocytes. Serial passage in subinhibitory concentrations led to emergence of resistance to commercial antibiotics but not to the L- or D isomer of either of the dermaseptin derivatives. The short derivatives were further investigated for antibacterial activity in vivo, using a peritonitis model of mice infected with P. aeruginosa. Naive mice in the vehicle control group exhibited 75% mortality, compared to 18 or 36% mortality in mice that received a single intraperitoneal injection (4.5 mg/kg) of K4-S4(1-16) or K4-S4(1-13), respectively. In vivo bactericidal activity was confirmed in neutropenic mice, where intraperitoneal administration of K4-S4(1-16) reduced the number of viable CFU in a dose-dependent manner by >3 log units within 1 h of exposure, and this was sustained for at least 5 h. Overall, the data suggest that dermaseptin S4 derivatives could be useful in treatment of infections, including infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria.
2. Activity of dermaseptin K4-S4 against foodborne pathogens
Sima Yaron, Tali Rydlo, Dina Shachar, Amram Mor Peptides. 2003 Nov;24(11):1815-21. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2003.09.016.
Dermaseptin S4 and its substituted derivative K(4)-S4 were investigated against various food-related pathogenic bacteria in culture media. K(4)-S4, but not the native peptide displayed significant growth inhibitory activity against all bacteria tested. Next, activity of K(4)-S4 against Escherichia coli O157:H7 was defined in terms of milieu dependencies. Salt-dependent kinetic studies in growth medium indicated that the peptide's antibacterial activity is maintained at fairly high (up to 600mM) NaCl concentrations but inhibited at higher concentrations. Similarly, antibacterial activity was reduced at high but not low pH conditions. Importantly, antibacterial activity was significantly maintained at temperatures lower than 37 degrees C and significantly enhanced at 42 degrees C. With respect to bactericidal kinetics, negative cultures were obtained in LB as well as in commercial apple juice, respectively, within 1 and 2h treatment, at twice the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) value. Overall, the data collected is indicative of a certain interest for dermaseptin derivatives as potential food preservatives.
3. Consequences of N-acylation on structure and membrane binding properties of dermaseptin derivative K4-S4-(1-13)
Deborah E Shalev, Shahar Rotem, Alexander Fish, Amram Mor J Biol Chem. 2006 Apr 7;281(14):9432-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M513051200. Epub 2005 Dec 30.
Acyl conjugation to antimicrobial peptides is known to enhance antimicrobial properties. Here, we investigated the consequences of aminolauryl (NC(12)) conjugation to the dermaseptin derivative K(4)-S4-(1-13) (P) on binding properties to bilayer models mimicking bacterial plasma membrane, which is often cited as the ultimate site of action. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that acylation was responsible for enhancing the binding affinity of NC(12)-P compared with P (K = 13 x 10(5) and 1.5 x 10(5) m(-1), respectively). Surface plasmon resonance measurements confirmed the isothermal titration calorimetry results (K(app) = 12.6 x 10(5) and 1.53 x 10(5) m(-1), respectively) and further indicated that enhanced adhesion affinity (K(adhesion) = 3 x 10(5) and 1 x 10(5) m(-1), respectively) was coupled to enhanced tendency to insert within the bilayer (K(insertion) = 4.5 and 1.5, respectively). To gain insight into the molecular basis for these observations, we investigated the three-dimensional structures in the presence of dodecylphosphocholine using NMR. The ensemble of NMR-calculated structures (backbone root mean square deviation <0.6 A) showed that the acyl moiety was responsible for a significant molecular reorganization, possibly affecting the electrostatic potential distribution in NC(12)-P relative to that of P. The combined data present compelling evidence in support of the hypothesis that N-acylation affects antimicrobial properties by modifying the secondary structure of the peptide in a manner that facilitates contact with the membrane and consequently increases its disruption.