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J Proteomics. 2011 Dec 21;75(2):511-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2011.08.015. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

iTRAQ-coupled 2-D LC-MS/MS analysis of cytoplasmic protein profile in Escherichia coli incubated with apidaecin IB.

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School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore.


Apidaecins refer to a series of proline-rich, 18- to 20-residue antimicrobial peptides produced by insects. Accumulating evidence that proline-rich antimicrobial peptides are not-toxic to human and animal cells makes them potential candidates for the development of novel antibiotic drugs. However, the mechanism of action was not fully understood. In this study, antibacterial mechanism of apidaecins was investigated. iTRAQ-coupled 2-D LC-MS/MS technique was utilized to identify altered cytoplasmic proteins of Escherichia coli incubated with one isoform of apidaecins--apidaecin IB. The production of the chaperonin GroEL and its cofactor GroES, which together form the only essential chaperone system in E. coli cytoplasm under all growth conditions, was decreased in cells incubated with apidaecin IB. The decreasing of the GroEL-GroES chaperone team was further found to be involved in a new antibacterial mechanism of apidaecins. Our findings therefore provide important new insights into the antibacterial mechanism of apidaecins and perhaps, by extension, for other proline-rich antimicrobial peptides.

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