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1.
Molecules ; 27(9)2022 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1841404

ABSTRACT

Antimicrobial peptides are a type of small-molecule peptide that widely exist in nature and are components of the innate immunity of almost all living things. They play an important role in resisting foreign invading microorganisms. Antimicrobial peptides have a wide range of antibacterial activities against bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms. They are active against traditional antibiotic-resistant strains and do not easily induce the development of drug resistance. Therefore, they have become a hot spot of medical research and are expected to become a new substitute for fighting microbial infection and represent a new method for treating drug-resistant bacteria. This review briefly introduces the source and structural characteristics of antimicrobial peptides and describes those that have been used against common clinical microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, and especially coronaviruses), focusing on their antimicrobial mechanism of action and clinical application prospects.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents , Viruses , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Bacteria , Fungi
2.
J Mol Model ; 28(5): 128, 2022 Apr 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1802772

ABSTRACT

In COVID-19 infection, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 interacts to the ACE2 receptor of human host, instigating the viral infection. To examine the competitive inhibitor efficacy of broad spectrum alpha helical AMPs extracted from frog skin, a comparative study of intermolecular interactions between viral S1 and AMPs was performed relative to S1-ACE2p interactions. The ACE2 binding region with S1 was extracted as ACE2p from the complex for ease of computation. Surprisingly, the Spike-Dermaseptin-S9 complex had more intermolecular interactions than the other peptide complexes and importantly, the S1-ACE2p complex. We observed how atomic displacements in docked complexes impacted structural integrity of a receptor-binding domain in S1 through conformational sampling analysis. Notably, this geometry-based sampling approach confers the robust interactions that endure in S1-Dermaseptin-S9 complex, demonstrating its conformational transition. Additionally, QM calculations revealed that the global hardness to resist chemical perturbations was found more in Dermaseptin-S9 compared to ACE2p. Moreover, the conventional MD through PCA and the torsional angle analyses indicated that Dermaseptin-S9 altered the conformations of S1 considerably. Our analysis further revealed the high structural stability of S1-Dermaseptin-S9 complex and particularly, the trajectory analysis of the secondary structural elements established the alpha helical conformations to be retained in S1-Dermaseptin-S9 complex, as substantiated by SMD results. In conclusion, the functional dynamics proved to be significant for viral Spike S1 and Dermaseptin-S9 peptide when compared to ACE2p complex. Hence, Dermaseptin-S9 peptide inhibitor could be a strong candidate for therapeutic scaffold to prevent infection of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/therapeutic use , Anura/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(5)2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736942

ABSTRACT

With the growing problem of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the search for alternative ways to combat bacterial infections is extremely urgent. While analyzing the effect of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) on immunocompetent cells, their effect on all parts of the immune system, and on humoral and cellular immunity, is revealed. AMPs have direct effects on neutrophils, monocytes, dendritic cells, T-lymphocytes, and mast cells, participating in innate immunity. They act on B-lymphocytes indirectly, enhancing the induction of antigen-specific immunity, which ultimately leads to the activation of adaptive immunity. The adjuvant activity of AMPs in relation to bacterial and viral antigens was the reason for their inclusion in vaccines and made it possible to formulate the concept of a "defensin vaccine" as an innovative basis for constructing vaccines. The immunomodulatory function of AMPs involves their influence on cells in the nearest microenvironment, recruitment and activation of other cells, supporting the response to pathogenic microorganisms and completing the inflammatory process, thus exhibiting a systemic effect. For the successful use of AMPs in medical practice, it is necessary to study their immunomodulatory activity in detail, taking into account their pleiotropy. The degree of maturity of the immune system and microenvironment can contribute to the prevention of complications and increase the effectiveness of therapy, since AMPs can suppress inflammation in some circumstances, but aggravate the response and damage of organism in others. It should also be taken into account that the real functions of one or another AMP depend on the types of total regulatory effects on the target cell, and not only on properties of an individual peptide. A wide spectrum of biological activity, including direct effects on pathogens, inactivation of bacterial toxins and influence on immunocompetent cells, has attracted the attention of researchers, however, the cytostatic activity of AMPs against normal cells, as well as their allergenic properties and low stability to host proteases, are serious limitations for the medical use of AMPs. In this connection, the tasks of searching for compounds that selectively affect the target and development of an appropriate method of application become critically important. The scope of this review is to summarize the current concepts and newest advances in research of the immunomodulatory activity of natural and synthetic AMPs, and to examine the prospects and limitations of their medical use.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides , Allergens/pharmacology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Bacteria , Immunity, Innate , Immunomodulation
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686819

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced the urgent need for the discovery of broad-spectrum antiviral therapies that could be deployed in the case of future emergence of novel viral threats, as well as to back up current therapeutic options in the case of drug resistance development. Most current antivirals are directed to inhibit specific viruses since these therapeutic molecules are designed to act on a specific viral target with the objective of interfering with a precise step in the replication cycle. Therefore, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been identified as promising antiviral agents that could help to overcome this limitation and provide compounds able to act on more than a single viral family. We evaluated the antiviral activity of an amphibian peptide known for its strong antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, namely Temporin L (TL). Previous studies have revealed that TL is endowed with widespread antimicrobial activity and possesses marked haemolytic activity. Therefore, we analyzed TL and a previously identified TL derivative (Pro3, DLeu9 TL, where glutamine at position 3 is replaced with proline, and the D-Leucine enantiomer is present at position 9) as well as its analogs, for their activity against a wide panel of viruses comprising enveloped, naked, DNA and RNA viruses. We report significant inhibition activity against herpesviruses, paramyxoviruses, influenza virus and coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, we further modified our best candidate by lipidation and demonstrated a highly reduced cytotoxicity with improved antiviral effect. Our results show a potent and selective antiviral activity of TL peptides, indicating that the novel lipidated temporin-based antiviral agents could prove to be useful additions to current drugs in combatting rising drug resistance and epidemic/pandemic emergencies.


Subject(s)
Amphibian Proteins/pharmacology , Amphibians/metabolism , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , DNA Viruses/drug effects , RNA Viruses/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Amphibian Proteins/chemistry , Amphibian Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gram-Negative Bacteria/drug effects , Gram-Positive Bacteria/drug effects , Humans , Lipids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vero Cells
5.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2956-2970, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500413

ABSTRACT

Cathepsin L is a key host cysteine protease utilized by coronaviruses for cell entry and is a promising drug target for novel antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. The marine natural product gallinamide A and several synthetic analogues were identified as potent inhibitors of cathepsin L with IC50 values in the picomolar range. Lead molecules possessed selectivity over other cathepsins and alternative host proteases involved in viral entry. Gallinamide A directly interacted with cathepsin L in cells and, together with two lead analogues, potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro, with EC50 values in the nanomolar range. Reduced antiviral activity was observed in cells overexpressing transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2); however, a synergistic improvement in antiviral activity was achieved when combined with a TMPRSS2 inhibitor. These data highlight the potential of cathepsin L as a COVID-19 drug target as well as the likely need to inhibit multiple routes of viral entry to achieve efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cathepsin L/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemical synthesis , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Biological Products/chemical synthesis , Biological Products/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , Cathepsin L/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Conformation , Proteomics , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(20)2021 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480793

ABSTRACT

The rapid rise of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria has once again caused bacterial infections to become a global health concern. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), also known as host defense peptides (HDPs), offer a viable solution to these pathogens due to their diverse mechanisms of actions, which include direct killing as well as immunomodulatory properties (e.g., anti-inflammatory activity). HDPs may hence provide a more robust treatment of bacterial infections. In this review, the advent of and the mechanisms that lead to antibiotic resistance will be described. HDP mechanisms of antibacterial and immunomodulatory action will be presented, with specific examples of how the HDP aurein 2.2 and a few of its derivatives, namely peptide 73 and cG4L73, function. Finally, resistance that may arise from a broader use of HDPs in a clinical setting and methods to improve biocompatibility will be briefly discussed.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/immunology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Bacteria/drug effects , Bacteria/immunology , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Bacterial Infections/immunology , Immunomodulation , Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Bacterial Infections/microbiology , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , /pharmacology
7.
Biomolecules ; 11(5)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234665

ABSTRACT

Cm-p5 is a snail-derived antimicrobial peptide, which demonstrated antifungal activity against the pathogenic strains of Candida albicans. Previously we synthetized a cyclic monomer as well as a parallel and an antiparallel dimer of Cm-p5 with improved antifungal activity. Considering the alarming increase of microbial resistance to conventional antibiotics, here we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of these derivatives against multiresistant and problematic bacteria and against important viral agents. The three peptides showed a moderate activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae Extended Spectrum ß-Lactamase (ESBL), and Streptococcus agalactiae, with MIC values > 100 µg/mL. They exerted a considerable activity with MIC values between 25-50 µg/mL against Acinetobacter baumanii and Enterococcus faecium. In addition, the two dimers showed a moderate activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14. The three Cm-p5 derivatives inhibited a virulent extracellular strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, they inhibited Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) infection in a concentration-dependent manner, but had no effect on infection by the Zika Virus (ZIKV) or pseudoparticles of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At concentrations of >100 µg/mL, the three new Cm-p5 derivatives showed toxicity on different eukaryotic cells tested. Considering a certain cell toxicity but a potential interesting activity against the multiresistant strains of bacteria and HSV-2, our compounds require future structural optimization.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial/drug effects , Herpesvirus 2, Human/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Candida albicans/drug effects , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Dimerization , Gram-Negative Bacteria/drug effects , Gram-Positive Bacteria/drug effects , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
8.
Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther ; 19(10): 1205-1217, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180416

ABSTRACT

Introduction: There are currently no specific drugs and universal vaccines for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), hence urgent effective measures are needed to discover and develop therapeutic agents. Applying peptide therapeutics and their related compounds is a promising strategy to achieve this goal. This review is written based on the literature search using several databases, previous studies, scientific reports, our current knowledge about the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and our personal analyses on the potential of the antiviral peptides for the treatment of COVID-19.Areas covered: In this review, we begin with a brief description of SARS-CoV2 followed by a comprehensive description of antiviral peptides (AVPs) including natural and synthetic AMPs or AVPs and peptidomimetics. Subsequently, the structural features, mechanisms of action, limitations, and therapeutic applications of these peptides are explained.Expert opinion: Regarding the lack and the limitations of drugs against COVID-19, AMPs, AVPs, and other peptide-like compounds such as peptidomimetics have captured the attention of researchers due to their potential antiviral activities. Some of these compounds comprise unique properties and have demonstrated the potential to fight SARS-CoV2, particularly melittin, lactoferrin, enfuvirtide, and rupintrivir that have the potential to enter animal and clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cathelicidins/therapeutic use , Computer Simulation , Defensins/therapeutic use , Hepcidins/therapeutic use , Humans , Lactoferrin/therapeutic use , Melitten/therapeutic use , Molecular Structure , Peptidomimetics/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Structures
9.
Molecules ; 26(6)2021 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154456

ABSTRACT

Bats are unique in their potential to serve as reservoir hosts for intracellular pathogens. Recently, the impact of COVID-19 has relegated bats from biomedical darkness to the frontline of public health as bats are the natural reservoir of many viruses, including SARS-Cov-2. Many bat genomes have been sequenced recently, and sequences coding for antimicrobial peptides are available in the public databases. Here we provide a structural analysis of genome-predicted bat cathelicidins as components of their innate immunity. A total of 32 unique protein sequences were retrieved from the NCBI database. Interestingly, some bat species contained more than one cathelicidin. We examined the conserved cysteines within the cathelin-like domain and the peptide portion of each sequence and revealed phylogenetic relationships and structural dissimilarities. The antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity of peptides was examined using bioinformatic tools. The peptides were modeled and subjected to docking analysis with the region binding domain (RBD) region of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. The appearance of multiple forms of cathelicidins verifies the complex microbial challenges encountered by these species. Learning more about antiviral defenses of bats and how they drive virus evolution will help scientists to investigate the function of antimicrobial peptides in these species.


Subject(s)
Cathelicidins/chemistry , Cathelicidins/pharmacology , Chiroptera/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Antifungal Agents/chemistry , Antifungal Agents/pharmacology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Cathelicidins/genetics , Cathelicidins/metabolism , Computational Biology/methods , Computer Simulation , Genome , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phylogeny
10.
FASEB J ; 35(2): e21358, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062891

ABSTRACT

Treatment of respiratory viral infections remains a global health concern, mainly due to the inefficacy of available drugs. Therefore, the discovery of novel antiviral compounds is needed; in this context, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) like temporins hold great promise. Here, we discovered that the harmless temporin G (TG) significantly inhibited the early life-cycle phases of influenza virus. The in vitro hemagglutinating test revealed the existence of TG interaction with the viral hemagglutinin (HA) protein. Furthermore, the hemolysis inhibition assay and the molecular docking studies confirmed a TG/HA complex formation at the level of the conserved hydrophobic stem groove of HA. Remarkably, these findings highlight the ability of TG to block the conformational rearrangements of HA2 subunit, which are essential for the viral envelope fusion with intracellular endocytic vesicles, thereby neutralizing the virus entry into the host cell. In comparison, in the case of parainfluenza virus, which penetrates host cells upon a membrane-fusion process, addition of TG to infected cells provoked ~1.2 log reduction of viral titer released in the supernatant. Nevertheless, at the same condition, an immunofluorescent assay showed that the expression of viral hemagglutinin/neuraminidase protein was not significantly reduced. This suggested a peptide-mediated block of some late steps of viral replication and therefore the impairment of the extracellular release of viral particles. Overall, our results are the first demonstration of the ability of an AMP to interfere with the replication of respiratory viruses with a different mechanism of cell entry and will open a new avenue for the development of novel therapeutic approaches against a large variety of respiratory viruses, including the recent SARS-CoV2.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/drug effects , Parainfluenza Virus 1, Human/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Dogs , HN Protein/chemistry , HN Protein/metabolism , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/metabolism , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/physiology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Molecular Docking Simulation , Parainfluenza Virus 1, Human/physiology , Protein Binding , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
11.
Molecules ; 25(23)2020 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-945888

ABSTRACT

A serious pandemic has been caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The interaction between spike surface viral protein (Sgp) and the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) cellular receptor is essential to understand the SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and pathogenicity. Currently, no drugs are available to treat the infection caused by this coronavirus and the use of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) may be a promising alternative therapeutic strategy to control SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we investigated the in silico interaction of AMPs with viral structural proteins and host cell receptors. We screened the antimicrobial peptide database (APD3) and selected 15 peptides based on their physicochemical and antiviral properties. The interactions of AMPs with Sgp and ACE2 were performed by docking analysis. The results revealed that two amphibian AMPs, caerin 1.6 and caerin 1.10, had the highest affinity for Sgp proteins while interaction with the ACE2 receptor was reduced. The effective AMPs interacted particularly with Arg995 located in the S2 subunits of Sgp, which is key subunit that plays an essential role in viral fusion and entry into the host cell through ACE2. Given these computational findings, new potentially effective AMPs with antiviral properties for SARS-CoV-2 were identified, but they need experimental validation for their therapeutic effectiveness.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Amphibian Proteins/chemistry , Amphibian Proteins/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Computer Simulation , Humans , Pandemics , Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins/chemistry , Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins/therapeutic use , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/therapeutic use , Viral Structural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Structural Proteins/genetics , Viral Structural Proteins/therapeutic use
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