3 years ago

The π Configuration of the WWW Motif of a Short Trp-Rich Peptide Is Critical for Targeting Bacterial Membranes, Disrupting Preformed Biofilms, and Killing Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

The π Configuration of the WWW Motif of a Short Trp-Rich Peptide Is Critical for Targeting Bacterial Membranes, Disrupting Preformed Biofilms, and Killing Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Guangshun Wang, D. Zarena, Fangyu Wang, Tamara Lushnikova, Biswajit Mishra
Tryptophan-rich peptides, being short and suitable for large-scale chemical synthesis, are attractive candidates for developing a new generation of antimicrobials to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria (superbugs). Although there are numerous pictures of the membrane-bound structure of a single tryptophan (W), how multiple Trp amino acids assemble themselves and interact with bacterial membranes is poorly understood. This communication presents the three-dimensional structure of an eight-residue Trp-rich peptide (WWWLRKIW-NH2 with 50% W) determined by the improved two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance method, which includes the measurements of 13C and 15N chemical shifts at natural abundance. This peptide forms the shortest two-turn helix with a distinct amphipathic feature. A unique structural arrangement is identified for the Trp triplet, WWW, that forms a π configuration with W2 as the horizontal bar and W1/W3 forming the two legs. An arginine scan reveals that the WWW motif is essential for killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 and disrupting preformed bacterial biofilms. This unique π configuration for the WWW motif is stabilized by aromatic–aromatic interactions as evidenced by ring current shifts as well as nuclear Overhauser effects. Because the WWW motif is maintained, a change of I7 to R led to a potent antimicrobial and antibiofilm peptide with 4-fold improvement in cell selectivity. Collectively, this study elucidated the structural basis of antibiofilm activity of the peptide, identified a better peptide candidate via structure–activity relationship studies, and laid the foundation for engineering future antibiotics based on the WWW motif.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00456

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00456

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.