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To develop antimicrobial peptides having higher bacterial selectivity than a novel antimicrobial peptide P18, we synthesized several analogues. The P18 analogues are designed by movement of the N-terminal Trp2 residue in P18 (P18-W6, P18-W8 and P18-W15) and the substitution of the central Pro9 residue with D-Pro or Nala (P18-Nala9 and P18- D-Pro9). These analogues retained potent antibacterial activity but displayed less hemolytic activity than P18. From the viewpoint of their therapeutic index, P18 analogues had approximate 3- to 7-fold higher bacterial selectivity compared to P18. The analogues preferentially bind to bacterial membrane-mimicking negatively charged liposomes as well as does P18. Their high specificity to negatively charged phospholipids corresponds well with their high bacterial selectivity. Furthermore, P18-W6, P18-W8 and P18-Nala9 induced a significant inhibition in NO production from LPS-stimulated macrophage RAW264.7 cells, as well as P18. This result suggests that these peptides appear to have promising therapeutic potential for future development as a novel anti-inflammatory agent as well as antimicrobial agent.
Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.