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Peptides. 2001 Oct;22(10):1669-74.

The effect of charge increase on the specificity and activity of a short antimicrobial peptide.

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Department of Biochemistry, Yonsei University, 134 Shinchon-Dong, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul 120-749, South Korea.


By using short linear antimicrobial peptides as a model system, the effect of peptide charge on the specificity between Candida albicans (fungi) and Gram-positive bacteria was investigated. In a present study, we added and/or deleted lysine residue(s) at the C-terminal and/or N-terminal end(s) of an antimicrobial peptide (KKVVFKVKFK-NH(2)) and synthesized the peptides that had similar alpha helical structures in a lipid membrane mimic condition. The increase of peptide charge improved antifungal activity without the change of antibacterial activity. Structure-activity relationship study about the peptides revealed that the net positive charge must play an important role in the specificity between C. albicans and Gram-positive bacteria and the increase of the net positive charge without the moderate change of secondary structure could improve activity for C. albicans rather than Gram-positive bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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