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Studies on Antifungal Potential, Primary Characterization and Mode of Action of a De Novo Cytoplasmic Protein (EAF) from Human Commensal Escherichia coli Against Aspergillus spp.

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A de novo protein named as EAF (Escherichia antifungal protein) from the cytoplasmic pool of an Escherichia coli strain (MTCC 1652), has been purified to homogeneity using anion exchange (Q-XL Sepharose) and cation exchange (SP-Sepharose) chromatography. The MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) values of purified protein against A. fumigatus (the major pathogenic species) were found to be comparable with standard drugs i.e. 3.90 μg/ml, 3.90 μg/ml and 1.25 μg/disc via microbroth dilution assay (MDA), percentage spore germination inhibition (PSGI) and disc diffusion assay (DDA) respectively. Toxicity results confirmed that it causes no haemolysis against human RBCs upto a concentration of 1000.0 μg/ml as compared to Amphotericin B (conventional antifungal drug) that causes hundred percent haemolysis at a concentration of 37.50 μg/ml only.The purified protein demonstrated a molecular mass of 28 kDa on SDS-PAGE which was further authenticated by MALDI-TOF. Proteomic and bioinformatics studies deciphered its significant homology (72 %) with chain A-D-ribose binding protein (cluster 2 sugar binding periplasmic proteins; sequence homologues of transcription regulatory proteins) from E. coli. Single dimensional page analysis of A. fumigatusproteins with due effect of EAF (at MIC50) revealed the inhibition of two major proteins; a heat shock protein 70-Hsp70 (68 kDa); having role in protein folding and functioning andphenylanalyl-t RNA synthetase PodG subunit protein (74 kDa); involved in growth polarity in fungi. Scanning electron microscopic studies depicted homologous results. We suggest that EAF most likely belongs to a new group of proteins with potent antifungal characteristics, negligible toxicity and targeting vital proteins of fungal metabolism.
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Keywords: Aspergillus fumigatus; D-ribose binding protein; Hsp70; heato; phenyl analyl-t RNA synthetase

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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  • 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.
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