Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology, and medicine

Leishmanicidal activity and immobilization of dermaseptin 01 antimicrobial peptides in ultrathin films for nanomedicine applications.

PMID 19215729


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are essential for the innate immune system of eukaryotes, imparting protection against pathogens and their proliferation in host organisms. The recent interest in AMPs as active materials in bionanostructures is due to the properties shown by these biological molecules, such as the presence of an alpha-helix structure and distribution of positive charges along the chain. In this study the antimicrobial peptide dermaseptin 01 (DS 01), from the skin secretion of Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis frogs was immobilized in nanostructured layered films in conjunction with nickel tetrasulfonated phthalocyanines. The leishmanicidal activity of DS 01 was confirmed using kinetic essays, in which DS 01 promoted death of all metacyclic promastigote cells in 45 minutes. Surprisingly, the immobilized DS 01 molecules displayed electroactivity, as revealed by electrochemical experiments, in which an oxidation peak at about 0.61 V was observed for a DS 01 monolayer deposited on top of a conductive electrode. Such electroactivity was used to investigate the sensing abilities of the nanostructured films toward Leishmania. We observed an increase in the oxidation current as a function of number of Leishmania cells in the electrolytic solution at concentrations down to 10(3) cells/mL. The latter is indicative that the use of AMPs immobilized in electroactive nanostructured films may be of interest for applications in the pharmaceutical industry and diagnosis. The recent interest in Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as active materials in bionanostructures is due to the properties shown by these biological molecules. Leishmanicidal activity of a particular AMP is demonstrated in this paper.