1. The antimicrobial peptide TAT-RasGAP317-326 inhibits the formation and expansion of bacterial biofilms in vitro
Simone Hargraves, Christian Widmann, Nicolas Jacquier, Tytti Heinonen, Maria Georgieva J Glob Antimicrob Resist . 2021 Jun;25:227-231. doi: 10.1016/j.jgar.2021.03.022.
Objectives:Biofilms are structured aggregates of bacteria embedded in a self-produced matrix that develop in diverse ecological niches. Pathogenic bacteria can form biofilms on surfaces and in tissues, causing nosocomial and chronic infections that are difficult to treat. While antibiotics are largely inefficient in limiting biofilm formation and expansion, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are emerging as alternative antibiofilm treatments. In this study, we explore the effect of the newly described AMP TAT-RasGAP317-326on Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms.Methods:Efficiency of TAT-RasGAP317-326on biofilms was tested in vitro. Both viability of bacteria contained in the biofilm as well as biomass of the biofilm were quantified using resazurin and crystal violet staining, respectively. The antibiofilm effect of TAT-RasGAP317-326was compared with a selection of classical antibiotics and AMPs.Results:We observe that TAT-RasGAP317-326inhibits biofilm formation at concentrations equivalent or two times greater than the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of planktonic bacteria. Moreover, TAT-RasGAP317-326limits the expansion of A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa established biofilms at twice the concentration inhibiting biofilm formation.Conclusion:These results underscore the potential use of TAT-RasGAP317-326against biofilms and encourage further studies in the development of AMPs to treat biofilm-related infections.
2. Constraining TAT Peptide by γPNA Hairpin for Enhanced Cellular Delivery of Biomolecules
Siddhartha Thennakoon, Rick Postema, Xiaohong Tan Methods Mol Biol . 2021;2355:265-273. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1617-8_20.
Based on the exceptionally high stability of γPNA (Gamma-modified peptide nucleic acid) duplexes, we designed a peptide/γPNA chimera in which a cell-penetrating TAT (HIV Tat-derived) peptide is flanked by two short complementary γPNA segments. Intramolecular hybridization of the γPNA segments results in a stable hairpin conformation in which the TAT peptide is constrained to form the loop. The TAT/γPNA hairpin (self-cyclized TAT peptide) enters cells at least tenfold more efficiently than its nonhairpin analog in which the two γPNA segments are noncomplementary. Extending one of the γPNA segments in the hairpin results in an overhang that can be used for binding and delivering a variety of nucleic acid-conjugated molecules into cells via hybridization to the overhang. We demonstrated efficient cellular delivery of an anti-telomerase γPNA that specifically reduced telomerase activity of A549 cells by over 97%.
3. In Situ Tissue Labeling of Cerebral Amyloid Using HIV-Related Tat Peptide
A Cagnotto, M Salmona, L Colombo, E Maderna, A Indaco, G Di Fede, G Giaccone, F Tagliavini Mol Neurobiol . 2018 Aug;55(8):6834-6840. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-0870-x.
Delivering peptide-based drugs to the brain is a major challenge because of the existence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). To overcome this problem, cell-penetrating peptides derived from proteins that are able to cross biological membranes have been used as cell-permeable and brain-penetrant compounds. An example is the transactivator of transcription protein transduction domain (Tat) of the human immunodeficiency virus. The basic domain of Tat is formed of arginine and lysine amino acid residues. Tat has been used as brain-penetrant carrier also in therapies for Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common form of dementia characterized by extracellular cerebral deposits of amyloid made up of Aβ peptide. The aim of our study was to assess whether Tat bind to amyloid deposits of AD and other amyloidoses. An in situ labeling using biotinylated Tat 48-57 peptide was employed in the brain tissue with amyloid deposits made up of Aβ (patients with AD and transgenic AD mice), of prion protein (patients with Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease), and other amyloidosis, processed by different fixations and pretreatments of histological sections. Our results showed that Tat peptide binds amyloid deposits made up of Aβ, PrP, and immunoglobulin lambda chains in the brain and other tissues processed by alcoholic fixatives but not in formalin-fixed tissue. The fact that biotinylated Tat peptide stains amyloid of different biochemical composition and the specific charge characteristics of the molecules suggests that Tat may bind to heparan sulfate glicosaminoglicans, that are present in amyloid deposits. Inhibition of the binding by Tat pre-incubation with protamine reinforces this hypothesis. Binding of Tat to amyloid deposits should be kept in mind in interpreting the results of studies employing this molecule as brain-penetrating compound for the treatment of cerebral amyloidoses. Our results also suggest that Tat may be helpful for the analysis of the mechanisms of amyloidogenesis, and in particular, the interactions between specific amyloid peptides and glicosaminoglicans.