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Role of acetylation and charge in antimicrobial peptides based on human -defensin-3

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Papanastasiou EA, Hua Q, Sandouk A, Son UH, Christenson AJ, van Hoek ML, Bishop BM. Role of acetylation and charge in antimicrobial peptides based on hBD-3. APMIS 2009; 117: 492–9.

Cationic antimicrobial peptides are an evolutionarily ancient and essential element of innate immunity in higher organisms. The precise mechanism by which these peptides exert their antimicrobial activity on bacteria is not well understood. Decapeptides based on the C-terminus of human -defensin-3 were designed and evaluated to study the role of charge in defining the antimicrobial activity and selectivity of these peptides against Escherichia coli. Acetylated derivatives of these peptides were prepared in order to further evaluate how positively charged primary amines contribute to potency in these small antimicrobial peptides. These peptides enabled us to explore the relationship between net charge, charge distribution and antimicrobial activity. While the results indicate that net charge is a major factor in antimicrobial activity in these peptides, the actual relationship between charge and potency appears to be more complex.
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Keywords: Antimicrobial peptide; acetylated peptide; human -defensin-3

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and 2: Department of Molecular and Microbiology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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