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Eur J Biochem. 1995 Mar 15;228(3):941-6.

PMAP-37, a novel antibacterial peptide from pig myeloid cells. cDNA cloning, chemical synthesis and activity.

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Dipartimento di Biochimica, Biofisica e Chimica delle Macromolecole, Università di Trieste, Italy.


A molecular biological approach, based on preproregion homology in the precursors of several diverse antibacterial peptides, was used to clone a pig bone marrow cDNA encoding a novel 167-residue polypeptide. The preproregion of this polypeptide is highly similar to corresponding regions in congeners from pig, cattle and rabbit. It is followed by a unique, cationic, 37-residue sequence, which was predicted to have a high propensity for an alpha-helical conformation. A peptide, termed PMAP-37, corresponding to this sequence, was chemically synthesized and shown to undergo a transition from a random coil to an ordered, mainly helical, conformation on addition of trifluoroethanol. This behaviour is typical of an amphipathic alpha helix, a structure common to several membrane-active, antimicrobial peptides. In vitro experiments showed that PMAP-37 strongly inhibits the growth of several strains of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, with minimal inhibitory concentrations ranging over 1-4 microM, and permeabilizes the inner membrane of Escherichia coli. Interestingly, the 15-32 stretch of PMAP-37 show a remarkable similarity to N-terminal stretches in cecropins B and A from Drosophila melanogaster and Cecropia hyalophora, respectively. This affords an uncommon example of sequence convergence.

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