Citation (#195):

Important structural features of 15-residue lactoferricin derivatives and methods for improvement of antimicrobial activity

Authors: StrÝm, M.B., Haug, B.E., Rekdal, A., Skar, M.L., Stensen, W., Svendsen, J.S.

Journal: Biochemistry & Cell Biology (Biochemistry & Cell Biology) 2002, 80.


This review focuses on important structural features affecting the antimicrobial activity of 15-residue derivatives of lactoferricins. Our investigations are based on an alanine-scan of a 15-residue bovine lactoferricin derivative that revealed the absolute necessity of two tryptophan residues for antimicrobial activity. This "tryptophan-effect" was further explored in homologous derivatives of human, caprine, and porcine lactoferricins by the incorporation of one additional tryptophan residue, and by increasing the content of tryptophan in the bovine derivative to five residues. Most of the resulting peptides display a substantial increase in antimicrobial activity. To identify which molecular properties make tryptophan so effective, a series of bovine lactoferricin derivatives were prepared containing non-encoded unnatural aromatic amino acids, which represented various aspects of the physicochemical nature of tryptophan. The results clearly demonstrate that tryptophan is not unique since most of the modified peptides were of higher antimicrobial potency than the native peptide. The size and three-dimensional shape of the inserted "super-tryptophans" are the most important determinants for the high antimicrobial activity of the modified peptides. This review also describes the use of a "soft-modeling" approach in order to identify important structural parameters affecting the antimicrobial activity of modified 15-residue murine lactoferricin derivatives. This QSAR-study revealed that the net charge, charge asymmetry, and micelle affinity of the peptides were the most important structural parameters affecting their antimicrobial activity.

Keywords: Lactoferrin; IRON proteins; ANTI-infective agents; peptides; AMINO acids; acides amin«łs aromatiques non cod«łs; Antimicrobial peptides; Lactoferricin; lactoferricine; non-encoded aromatic amino acids; peptides antimicrobiens; tryptophan; tryptophane

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