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PeerJ. 2018 Jul 25;6:e5369. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5369. eCollection 2018.

A novel cecropin B-derived peptide with antibacterial and potential anti-inflammatory properties.

Wang J1,2, Ma K1,2, Ruan M1,2, Wang Y1,2, Li Y1,2,3, Fu YV4, Song Y5, Sun H1,2,6, Wang J1,2,7.

Author information

High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, China.
Key Laboratory of High Magnetic Field and Ion Beam Physical Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, China.
The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, China.
State Key Laboratory of Microbial Resources, Institution of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China.
School of Food and Biological Engineering, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry, Zhengzhou, China.
Institute of Physical Science and information Technology, Anhui University, Hefei, China.


Cecropins, originally found in insects, are a group of cationic antimicrobial peptides. Most cecropins have an amphipathic N-terminal segment and a largely hydrophobic C-terminal segment, and normally form a helix-hinge-helix structure. In this study, we developed the novel 32-residue cecropin-like peptide cecropin DH by deleting the hinge region (Alanine-Glycine-Proline) of cecropin B isolated from Chinese oak silk moth, Antheraea pernyi. Cecropin DH possesses effective antibacterial activity, particularly against Gram-negative bacteria, with very low cytotoxicity against mammalian cells. Interactions between cecropin DH and the highly anionic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) component of the Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane indicate that it is capable of dissociating LPS micelles and disrupting LPS aggregates into smaller assemblies, which may play a vital role in its antimicrobial activity. Using LPS-stimulated mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cells, we found that cecropin DH exerted higher potential anti-inflammatory activity than cecropin B, as demonstrated by the inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines nitric oxide production and secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α. In conclusion, cecropin DH has potential as a therapeutic agent for both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory applications.


Antibacterial activity; Cecropin DH; Inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines; LPS small micelle formation

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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