BMC microbiology

Identification of natural antimicrobial agents to treat dengue infection: In vitro analysis of latarcin peptide activity against dengue virus.

PMID 24885331


Although there have been considerable advances in the study of dengue virus, no vaccines or anti-dengue drugs are currently available for humans. Therefore, new approaches are necessary for the development of potent anti-dengue drugs. Natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with potent antiviral activities are potential hits-to-leads for antiviral drug discovery. We performed this study to identify and characterise the inhibitory potential of the latarcin peptide (Ltc 1, SMWSGMWRRKLKKLRNALKKKLKGE) against dengue virus replication in infected cells. The Ltc 1 peptide showed a significantly inhibitory effect against the dengue protease NS2B-NS3pro at 37°C, a physiological human temperature, (IC50, 12.68 ± 3.2xa0μM), and greater inhibitory effect was observed at 40°C, a temperature similar to a high fever (IC50, 6.58 ± 4.1xa0μM). A greater reduction in viral load (p.f.u./ml) was observed at simultaneous (0.7 ± 0.3 vs. 7.2 ± 0.5 control) and post-treatment (1.8 ± 0.7 vs. 6.8 ± 0.6 control) compared to the pre-treatment (4.5 ± 0.6 vs. 6.9 ± 0.5 control). Treatment with the Ltc 1 peptide reduced the viral RNA in a dose-dependent manner with EC50 values of 8.3 ± 1.2, 7.6 ± 2.7 and 6.8 ± 2.5xa0μM at 24, 48 and 72xa0h, respectively. The Ltc 1 peptide exhibited significant inhibitory effects against dengue NS2B-NS3pro and virus replication in the infected cells. Therefore, further investigation is necessary to develop the Ltc 1 peptide as a new anti-dengue therapeutic.