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Int J Mol Sci ; 24(3)2023 Jan 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2263287


Medicago truncatula in symbiosis with its rhizobial bacterium partner produces more than 700 nodule-specific cysteine-rich (NCR) peptides with diverse physicochemical properties. Most of the cationic NCR peptides have antimicrobial activity and the potential to tackle antimicrobial resistance with their novel modes of action. This work focuses on the antibacterial activity of the NCR169 peptide derivatives as we previously demonstrated that the C-terminal sequence of NCR169 (NCR169C17-38) has antifungal activity, affecting the viability, morphology, and biofilm formation of various Candida species. Here, we show that NCR169C17-38 and its various substituted derivatives are also able to kill ESKAPE pathogens such as Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli. The replacement of the two cysteines with serines enhanced the antimicrobial activity against most of the tested bacteria, indicating that the formation of a disulfide bridge is not required. As tryptophan can play role in the interaction with bacterial membranes and thus in antibacterial activity, we replaced the tryptophans in the NCR169C17-38C12,17/S sequence with various modified tryptophans, namely 5-methyl tryptophan, 5-fluoro tryptophan, 6-fluoro tryptophan, 7-aza tryptophan, and 5-methoxy tryptophan, in the synthesis of NCR169C17-38C12,17/S analogs. The results demonstrate that the presence of modified fluorotryptophans can significantly enhance the antimicrobial activity without notable hemolytic effect, and this finding could be beneficial for the further development of new AMPs from the members of the NCR peptide family.

Anti-Bacterial Agents , Tryptophan , Tryptophan/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Peptides/pharmacology , Bacteria , Staphylococcus aureus , Microbial Sensitivity Tests
Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult ; 153(3): 669-675, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2259071


This manuscript describes a unique protocol for the rapid transformation of Medicago truncatula A17 cell suspension cultures mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Medicago cells were collected on day 7 of the growth curve, which corresponded to the beginning of the exponential phase. They were then co-cultured with Agrobacterium for 3 days before being spread onto a petri dish with appropriate antibiotic selection. The Receptor Binding Domain of the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 was used as a model to develop this protocol. The presence of the transgene was assessed using PCR, and the integrity of the product was evaluated by SDS-PAGE and Western-blotting.

Front Plant Sci ; 13: 995429, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109830


The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2, has prompted the scientific community to rapidly develop efficient and specific diagnostics and therapeutics. A number of avenues have been explored, including the manufacture of COVID-related proteins to be used as reagents for diagnostics or treatment. The production of RBD and Spike proteins was previously achieved in eukaryotic cells, mainly mammalian cell cultures, while the production in microbial systems has been unsuccessful until now. Here we report the effective production of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in two plant model systems. We established transgenic tobacco BY-2 and Medicago truncatula A17 cell suspension cultures stably producing the full-length Spike and RBD recombinant proteins. For both proteins, various glycoforms were obtained, with higher yields in Medicago cultures than BY-2. This work highlights that RBD and Spike can be secreted into the culture medium, which will impact subsequent purification and downstream processing costs. Analysis of the culture media indicated the presence of the high molecular weight Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Although the production yields still need improvement to compete with mammalian systems, this is the first report showing that plant cell suspension cultures are able to produce the high molecular weight Spike protein. This finding strengthens the potential of plant cell cultures as production platforms for large complex proteins.

Drug Development and Delivery ; 22(4):18-23, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2012508
Science ; 374(6574):1418-1418, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1589384


The article talks about production of a new vaccine which mimics Covid-19 virus particle with spike proteins from a genetically engineered plant, a tobacco cousin called Nicotiana benthamiana produced by Medicago.