Chimerization of lactoferricin and lactoferrampin peptides strongly potentiates the killing activity against Candida albicans

J. Bolscher, K. Nazmi, J. van Marle, W. van 't Hof, E. Veerman

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Bovine lactoferrin harbors 2 antimicrobial sequences (LFcin and LFampin), situated in close proximity in the N1-domain. To mimic their semi parallel configuration we have synthesized a chimeric peptide (LFchimera) in which these sequences are linked in a head-to-head fashion to the α- and ε-amino group, respectively, of a single lysine. In line with previously described bactericidal effects, this peptide was also a stronger candidacidal agent than the antimicrobial peptides LFcin17-30 and LFampin265-284, or a combination of these 2. Conditions that strongly reduced the candidacidal activities of LFcin17-30 and LFampin265-284, such as high ionic strength and energy depletion, had little influence on the activity of LFchimera. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy showed that LFchimera severely affected the membrane morphology, resulting in disintegration of the membrane bilayer and in an efflux of small and high molecular weight molecules such as ATP and proteins. The differential effects displayed by the chimeric peptide and a mixture of its constituent peptides clearly demonstrate the synergistic effect of linking these peptides in a fashion that allows a similar spatial arrangement as in the parent protein, suggesting that in bovine lactoferrrin the corresponding fragments act in concert in its candidacidal activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-388
JournalBiochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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