Probiotics and antimicrobial proteins

In vivo Toxicity Assessment of Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs LR14) Derived from Lactobacillus plantarum Strain LR/14 in Drosophila melanogaster.

PMID 24676768


Lactic acid bacteria are known to produce antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) such as bacteriocins which can be employed to control pathogens and food spoilage microorganisms. However, their possible role as toxic agents against a eukaryotic system still remains unexplored. The present study deals with the in vivo evaluation of acute toxic effect of AMPs LR14, a mixture of AMPs isolated from Lactobacillus plantarum LR/14 on Drosophila melanogaster. The fly was used as a model system to measure the extent of toxicity of these peptides. The results showed that concentrations below 10 mg/ml are not significantly effective. When exposed to 10 mg/ml of AMPs LR14, acute toxic effect and a significant delay in the developmental cycle of the fly could be observed. Also, the weight and size of the flies were significantly reduced upon ingestion of these peptides. Higher concentrations (beyond 15 mg/ml) exerted a strong larvicidal effect. Detailed analysis on larval tissues and adult germ cells of the insect revealed deformity in cellular architecture, DNA fragmentation, and premature apoptosis, confirming that the peptides have a dose-dependent toxic property. Our studies provide the first information on the role of AMPs LR14 as an insecticidal agent.