Biochimica et biophysica acta

Action mechanism of PEGylated magainin 2 analogue peptide.

PMID 17662233


PEGylation is frequently used to improve the efficacy of protein and peptide drugs. Recently, we investigated its effects on the action mechanism of the cyclic beta-sheet antimicrobial peptide tachyplesin I isolated from Tachypleus tridentatus [Y. Imura, M. Nishida, Y. Ogawa, Y. Takakura, K. Matsuzaki, Action Mechanism of Tachyplesin I and Effects of PEGylation, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1768 (2007) 1160-1169]. PEGylation did not change the basic mechanism behind the membrane-permeabilizing effect of the peptide on liposomes, however, it decreased the antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity. To obtain further information on the effects of PEGylation on the activities of antimicrobial peptides, we designed another structurally different PEGylated antimicrobial peptide (PEG-F5W, E19Q-magainin 2-amide) based on the alpha-helical peptide magainin 2 isolated from the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. The PEGylated peptide induced the leakage of calcein from egg yolk L-alpha-phosphatidylglycerol/egg yolk L-alpha-phosphatidylcholine large unilamellar vesicles, however, the activity was weaker than that of the control peptides. The PEGylated peptide induced lipid flip-flop coupled to the leakage and was translocated into the inner leaflet of the bilayer, indicating that PEGylation did not alter the basic mechanism of membrane permeabilization of the parent peptide. The cytotoxicity of the non-PEGylated peptides was nullified by PEGylation. At the same time, the antimicrobial activity was weakened only by 4 fold. The effects of PEGylation on the activity of magainin were compared with those for tachyplesin.

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Magainin II, ≥97% (HPLC)