Biological and structural characterization of new linear gomesin analogues with improved therapeutic indices

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Fazio, Marcos A.
Jouvensal, Laurence
Vovelle, Francoise
Bulet, Philippe
Miranda, M. Teresa M.
Daffre, Sirlei
Miranda, Antonio
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Gomesin (Gm) is a potent antimicrobial peptide isolated from the spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana. the two disulfide bridges Cys(2,15) and Cys(6,11) facilitate the folding of the molecule in a P-hairpin structure, conferring on the peptide a high stability in human plasma. We report herein biological and structural features of new linear Gm analogues, obtained by combining the removal of both disulfide bridges and the incorporation of a D- or L-proline. Regarding their biological properties, two analogues, namely, [D-Thr(2,6,11,15), Pro(9)]-D-Gm and [Thr(2,6,11,15), D-Pro(9)]-Gm, are as potent as Gm against Candida albicans and only fourfold less against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. in addition, at 100 mu M they are approximately threefold less hemolytic than Gm. the best therapeutic indices were found for [D-Thr(2,6,11,15), Pro(9)]-D-Gm and for [(Des-pGlu(1), -Thr(2), -Arg(3))], Thr(6,11,15), with a 32-fold increase of their activity against bacteria, and from 128- to 512-fold against yeast when compared with Gm. Regarding the stability, [D-Thr(2,6,11,15), Pro(9)]-D-Gm appeared to be the most resistant in human serum, along with [D-Thr2,6,11,15, Pro(8)]-D-Gm and [Thr-(2,6,11,15), D-Arg(4,16), D-Pro(9)]-Gm. When evaluating their conformation by CD spectroscopy in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), most linear analogues display beta-conformation characteristics. Moreover, considering its high therapeutic index and stability in serum, [D-Thr(2,6,11,15), Pro(9)]-D-Gm was ftirther analyzed by NMR spectroscopy. H-1 NMR expertiments in SDS micelles demonstrated that [D-Thr(2,6,11,15), Pro(9)]-D-Gm presents a conformation very similar to that of Gm. in our search for Gm analogues with enhanced potential for drug development, we demonstrated that designing cysteine-free analogues can improve the therapeutic index of Gm derivatives. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Biopolymers. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc, v. 88, n. 3, p. 386-400, 2007.