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Functional Characterization of Temporin-SHe, a New Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial and Leishmanicidal Temporin-SH Paralog from the Sahara Frog (Pelophylax saharicus)

Abstract : Amphibian skin is a promising natural resource for antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), key effectors of innate immunity with attractive therapeutic potential to fight antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Our previous studies showed that the skin of the Sahara Frog (Pelophylax saharicus) contains broad-spectrum AMPs of the temporin family, named temporins-SH. Here, we focused our study on temporin-SHe, a temporin-SHd paralog that we have previously identified in this frog but was never structurally and functionally characterized. We synthesized and determined the structure of temporin-SHe. This non-amphipathic α-helical peptide was demonstrated to strongly destabilize the lipid chain packing of anionic multilamellar vesicles mimicking bacterial membranes. Investigation of the antimicrobial activity revealed that temporin-SHe targets Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including clinical isolates of multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains. Temporin-SHe exhibited also antiparasitic activity toward different Leishmania species responsible for visceral leishmaniasis, as well as cutaneous and mucocutaneous forms. Functional assays revealed that temporin-SHe exerts bactericidal effects with membrane depolarization and permeabilization, via a membranolytic mechanism observed by scanning electron microscopy. Temporin-SHe represents a new member of the very limited group of antiparasitic temporins/AMPs. Despite its cytotoxicity, it is nevertheless an interesting tool to study the AMP antiparasitic mechanism and design new antibacterial/antiparasitic agents.
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Sonia André, Zahid Raja, Vincent Humblot, Christophe Piesse, Thierry Foulon, et al.. Functional Characterization of Temporin-SHe, a New Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial and Leishmanicidal Temporin-SH Paralog from the Sahara Frog (Pelophylax saharicus). International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 2020, 21 (18), pp.6713. ⟨10.3390/ijms21186713⟩. ⟨hal-02989769⟩

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