4 years ago

Optimisation of the antifungal potency of the amidated peptide H-Orn-Orn-Trp-Trp-NH2 against food contaminants

The design of novel efficient antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) faces several issues, such as cost of synthesis, proteolytic stability or cytotoxicity. The identification of key determinants involved in the activity of AMPs, such as cationicity and amphipathicity, allowed the synthesis of short peptides with optimized properties. An ultrashort peptide made of the sequence H-Orn-Orn-Trp-Trp-NH2 (O3TR) showed antifungal activity against several contaminants from food products. This peptide inhibited the growth of the filamentous fungi Fusarium culmorum, Penicillium expansum and Aspergillus niger within a range of concentration of 12.5–50μg/ml. In addition, O3TR inhibited the growth of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Zygosaccharomyces bailii, Zygosaccharomyces rouxii, Debaryomyces hansenii and Kluyveromyces lactis within the range 12.5–50μg/ml. A derivative peptide, called C12O3TR, made by the addition of lauric acid at the N-terminus of O3TR was 2- to 8-fold more active than O3TR against every species. In addition to the inhibition of conidial germination, O3TR and C12O3TR killed F. culmorum hyphae at 100 and 50μg/ml respectively. The MIC of the two peptides against F. culmorum and Z. bailii after heat treatment at 100°C for 60 min and within the pH range 3–10, were not changed. However, the activity of O3TR against F.culmorum and Z. bailii was strongly reduced in salt solutions, whereas the lauric acid peptide kept its antifungal activity and resistance to proteolytic digestion. The conjugation with lauric acid reduced the random coiled structure and increased the α-helical content of O3TR. After conjugation with the dye tetramethylrhodamine (TMR), both peptides entered F. culmorum spores. They also both induced permeabilization of F. culmorum hyphae but only C12O3TR permeabilized Z. bailii membrane. In contrast to the lipopeptide, O3TR did not show haemolytic or cytotoxic activity when applied at the concentrations that exhibited antifungal potency. The two peptides were challenged against a yeast cocktail of S. cerevisiae and Z. bailii, and A. niger in different commercial beverages. After 7 days, O3TR was able to inhibit the yeast cocktail in a commercial lager and carbonated drink. Due to its antifungal potency, high stability and low cytotoxicity, the tetrapeptide could represent a promising starting point of a novel food preservative.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S016816051730466X

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