3 years ago

Discovery of a Membrane-Active, Ring-Modified Histidine Containing Ultrashort Amphiphilic Peptide That Exhibits Potent Inhibition of Cryptococcus neoformans

Discovery of a Membrane-Active, Ring-Modified Histidine Containing Ultrashort Amphiphilic Peptide That Exhibits Potent Inhibition of Cryptococcus neoformans
Rahul Jain, Indresh Kumar Maurya, Krishna K. Sharma, Kulbhushan Tikoo, Vinod Kumar, Melissa R. Jacob, Shabana I. Khan
The new structural classes of ultrashort peptides that exhibit potent microbicidal action have potential as future drugs. Herein, we report that C-2 arylated histidines containing tripeptides His(2-Ar)-Trp-His(2-Ar) exhibit potent antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans with high selectivity. The most potent peptide 12f [His(2-biphenyl)-Trp-His(2-biphenyl)] displayed high in vitro activity against C. neoformans (IC50 = 0.35 μg/mL, MIC = MFC = 0.63 μg/mL) with a selectivity index of >28 and 2 times higher potency compared to amphotericin B. Peptide 12f exhibited proteolytic stability, with no apparent hemolytic activity. The mechanism of action study of 12f by confocal laser scanning microscopy and electron microscopy indicates nuclear fragmentation and membrane disruption of C. neoformans cells. Combinations of 12f with fluconazole and amphotericin B at subinhibitory concentration were synergistic against C. neoformans. This study suggests that 12f is a new structural class of amphiphilic peptide with rapid fungicidal activity caused by C. neoformans.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00481

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00481

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