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Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 29;7(1):16580. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16784-6.

Macropis fulvipes Venom component Macropin Exerts its Antibacterial and Anti-Biofilm Properties by Damaging the Plasma Membranes of Drug Resistant Bacteria.

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Department of Biomedical Science, Chosun University, Gwangju, 61452, Korea.
Division of Magnetic Resonance, Korea Basic Science Institute, Ochang, Chung-Buk, 363-883, Republic of Korea.
Department of Bioinformatics, Kongju National University, Kongju, 314-701, South Korea.
Department of Physics, Alexandru I. Cuza University, Iasi, Romania.
Department of Biomedical Science, Chosun University, Gwangju, 61452, Korea.
Research Center for Proteineous Materials, Chosun University, Gwangju, 61452, Korea.


The abuse of antibiotics for disease treatment has led to the emergence of multidrug resistant bacteria. Antimicrobial peptides, found naturally in various organisms, have received increasing interest as alternatives to conventional antibiotics because of their broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and low cytotoxicity. In a previous report, Macropin, isolated from bee venom, exhibited antimicrobial activity against both gram-positive and negative bacteria. In the present study, Macropin was synthesized and its antibacterial and anti-biofilm activities were tested against bacterial strains, including gram-positive and negative bacteria, and drug resistant bacteria. Moreover, Macropin did not exhibit hemolytic activity and cytotoxicity to keratinocytes, whereas Melittin, as a positive control, showed very high toxicity. Circular dichroism assays showed that Macropin has an α-helical structure in membrane mimic environments. Macropin binds to peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharide and kills the bacteria by disrupting their membranes. Moreover, the fractional inhibitory concentration index indicated that Macropin has additive and partially synergistic effects with conventional antibiotics against drug resistant bacteria. Thus, our study suggested that Macropin has potential for use of an antimicrobial agent for infectious bacteria, including drug resistant bacteria.

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