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Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 26;6:21385. doi: 10.1038/srep21385.

A polyalanine peptide derived from polar fish with anti-infectious activities.

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Centro de Análises Proteômicas e Bioquímicas, Pós-Graduação em Ciências Genômicas e Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica de Brasília, Brasília-DF, Brazil.
S-inova, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Dom Bosco, Campo Grande-MS, Brazil.
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Patologia Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília-DF, Brazil.
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Genômicas e Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica de Brasília, Brasília-DF, Brazil.
Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Synthetic Biology Group, MIT Synthetic Biology Center, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Department of Biological Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia-GO, Brazil.


Due to the growing concern about antibiotic-resistant microbial infections, increasing support has been given to new drug discovery programs. A promising alternative to counter bacterial infections includes the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which have emerged as model molecules for rational design strategies. Here we focused on the study of Pa-MAP 1.9, a rationally designed AMP derived from the polar fish Pleuronectes americanus. Pa-MAP 1.9 was active against Gram-negative planktonic bacteria and biofilms, without being cytotoxic to mammalian cells. By using AFM, leakage assays, CD spectroscopy and in silico tools, we found that Pa-MAP 1.9 may be acting both on intracellular targets and on the bacterial surface, also being more efficient at interacting with anionic LUVs mimicking Gram-negative bacterial surface, where this peptide adopts α-helical conformations, than cholesterol-enriched LUVs mimicking mammalian cells. Thus, as bacteria present varied physiological features that favor antibiotic-resistance, Pa-MAP 1.9 could be a promising candidate in the development of tools against infections caused by pathogenic bacteria.

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