A large 10-mer phage peptide library was panned against whole Escherichia coli cells, and an antimicrobial peptide (QEKIRVRLSA) was selected. The peptide was synthesized in monomeric and dendrimeric tetrabranched form (multiple antigen peptide [MAP]), which generally allows a dramatic increase of peptide stability to peptidases and proteases. The antibacterial activity of the dendrimeric peptide against E. coli was much higher than that of the monomeric form. Modification of the original sequence, by residue substitution or sequence shortening, produced three different MAPs, M4 (QAKIRVRLSA), M5 (KIRVRLSA), and M6 (QKKIRVRLSA) with enhanced stability to natural degradation and antimicrobial activity against a large panel of gram-negative bacteria. The MICs of the most potent peptide, M6, were as low as 4 to 8 μg/ml against recent clinical isolates of multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The same dendrimeric peptides showed high stability to blood proteases, low hemolytic activity, and low cytotoxic effects on eukaryotic cells, making them promising candidates for the development of new antibacterial drugs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)