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PLoS One. 2015 Nov 23;10(11):e0143583. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143583. eCollection 2015.

The Synthetic Antimicrobial Peptide 19-2.5 Interacts with Heparanase and Heparan Sulfate in Murine and Human Sepsis.

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Department of Intensive Care and Intermediate Care, University Hospital RWTH, Aachen, Germany.
Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, Berlin Institute of Technology, Berlin, Germany.
Division of Biophysics, Forschungszentrum Borstel, Borstel, Germany.


Heparanase is an endo-β-glucuronidase that cleaves heparan sulfate side chains from their proteoglycans. Thereby, heparanase liberates highly potent circulating heparan sulfate-fragments (HS-fragments) and triggers the fatal and excessive inflammatory response in sepsis. As a potential anti-inflammatory agent for sepsis therapy, peptide 19-2.5 belongs to the class of synthetic anti-lipopolysaccharide peptides; however, its activity is not restricted to Gram-negative bacterial infection. We hypothesized that peptide 19-2.5 interacts with heparanase and/or HS, thereby reducing the levels of circulating HS-fragments in murine and human sepsis. Our data indicate that the treatment of septic mice with peptide 19-2.5 compared to untreated control animals lowers levels of plasma heparanase and circulating HS-fragments and reduces heparanase activity. Additionally, mRNA levels of heparanase in heart, liver, lung, kidney and spleen are downregulated in septic mice treated with peptide 19-2.5 compared to untreated control animals. In humans, plasma heparanase level and activity are elevated in septic shock. The ex vivo addition of peptide 19-2.5 to plasma of septic shock patients decreases heparanase activity but not heparanase level. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed a strong exothermic reaction between peptide 19-2.5 and heparanase and HS-fragments. However, a saturation character has been identified only in the peptide 19-2.5 and HS interaction. In conclusion, the findings of our current study indicate that peptide 19-2.5 interacts with heparanase, which is elevated in murine and human sepsis and consecutively attenuates the generation of circulating HS-fragments in systemic inflammation. Thus, peptide 19-2.5 seems to be a potential anti-inflammatory agent in sepsis.

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