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FEBS Lett. 2001 Nov 23;508(3):389-93.

The antimicrobial peptides lactoferricin B and magainin 2 cross over the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane and reside in the cytoplasm.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital Tromsø, Norway.


The localization of immunolabelled antimicrobial peptides was studied using transmission electron microscopy. Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were exposed to lactoferricin B (17-41), lactoferricin B (17-31) and D-lactoferricin B (17-31). E. coli was also exposed to cecropin P1 and magainin 2. The lactoferricins were found in the cytoplasm of both bacteria. In S. aureus the amount of cytoplasmic lactoferricin B (17-41) was time- and concentration-dependent, reaching a maximum within 30 min. Cecropin P1 was confined to the cell wall, while magainin 2 was found in the cytoplasm of E. coli. The finding of intracellularly localized magainin is not reported previously.

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