Arenicin-1-induced apoptosis-like response requires RecA activation and hydrogen peroxide against Escherichia coli
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Arenicin-1, a 21-mer antimicrobial peptide exerts significant broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity with membrane-active mechanisms. However, owing to multiple mechanisms of cell death, the antibacterial mechanism of arenicin-1 requires detailed analysis. In the present study, arenicin-1-treated bacteria underwent an apoptosis-like response, which was mechanistically and morphologically similar to eukaryotic apoptosis. Changes in the physiological status of arenicin-1-treated bacterial cells involved accumulation of reactive oxygen species, imbalance of intracellular calcium gradients, disruption of membrane potential, bacterial caspase-like protein activation, and DNA damage. In arenicin-1-induced apoptosis-like death, autocleavage of LexA was observed because of the activation of the caspase-like activity of RecA. Additionally, typical reactive oxygen species such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radicals, were scavenged in arenicin-1-treated cells to assess the role of specific reactive oxygen species. Scavenging of hydrogen peroxide interfered with the activity of arenicin-1 in Escherichia coli, whereas the superoxide and hydroxyl radicals level did not affect arenicin-1-induced apoptosis-like death activity. Furthermore, inhibition of Fenton reaction attenuated apoptosis-like response. In conclusion, arenicin-1-induced apoptosis like death requires SOS response proteins and is mediated by hydrogen peroxide and Fenton reaction in E. coli. Arenicin-1 may be a representative antimicrobial peptide with potent apoptotic response against E. coli.
KeywordsArenicin-1 Hydrogen peroxide Apoptosis-like death SOS response
Programmed cell death
Bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2017R1A2B4005811).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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