K1K8: an Hp1404-derived antibacterial peptide
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As an alternative class of antimicrobial agents used to overcome drug-resistant infections, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have recently gained significant attention. In this study, we designed an improved antimicrobial peptide, K1K8, based on the molecular template of Hp1404. Compared to the wild-type Hp1404, K1K8 showed an improved antibacterial spectrum in vitro, a lower hemolytic activity, and an enhanced serum stability. Importantly, K1K8 also decreased methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterial counts in the wounded region in a mouse skin infection model. Interestingly, K1K8 did not induce bacterial resistance or non-specific immune response reactions. Moreover, the peptide killed bacterial cells mainly by disrupting the bacterial membrane. In summary, K1K8 has the potential to be used as an improved anti-infection agent for topical use, which opens an avenue that potential anti-infection drugs may be designed and developed from the molecular templates of AMPs.
KeywordsAntimicrobial peptides Hemolysis Serum stability MRSA skin infection Resistance
This work was supported by grants from the National Science Fund of China for Excellent Young Scholar (No. 31422049), National Natural Science Fund of China (No. 31572289), Hubei Science Fund for Excellent Scholars (No. 2015CFA042), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities in China (Nos. 2042014kf0205 and 2042015kf0255), and China Scholarship Council (No. 201308420306).
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures of animal experiments complied with the guidelines of the Animal Advisory Committee at Wuhan University, and the protocol was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee at the College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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