With the emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), new classes of anti-mycobacterial agents with very different modes of action compared to classical antibiotics, are urgently needed. In this study, a series of 26-residue, amphipathic α-helical antimicrobial peptides consisting of all D-amino acid residues and synthetic human L-LL37 (L-enantiomer) and D-LL37 (D-enantiomer) were investigated against M. tuberculosis susceptible strain (H37Rv) and a clinical multi-drug resistant strain (Vertulo). Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined through a peptide killing assay. D5, the most active analog against M. tuberculosis had a MIC value of 11.2 μM (35.2 μg/ml) against H37Rv strain and 15.6 μM (49 μg/ml) against the MDR strain. Peptide D1 had similar activity as D5 against the MDR strain (57 μg/mL), a 9-fold improvement in hemolytic activity and a 7.4-fold better therapeutic index compared to D5. Surprisingly, LL37 enantiomers showed little to no activity compared to the de-novo designed α-helical antimicrobial peptides.
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.