Scientific reports

Activity of Novel Synthetic Peptides against Candida albicans.

PMID 25965506


Candida spp. are the most common causes of fungal infections worldwide. Among the Candida species, Candida albicans remains the predominant species that causes invasive candidiasis in most countries. In this study, we used two peptides, KABT-AMP and uperin 3.6 as templates to develop novel antifungal peptides. Their anticandidal activity was assessed using a combination of MIC, time-killing assay and biofilm reduction assay. Hybrid peptides, KU2 and KU3 containing a mixed backbone of KABT-AMP and Uperin 3.6 demonstrated the most potent anticandidal activity with MIC values ranging from 8-16 mg/L. The number of Trp residues and the amphipathic structure of peptides probably enhanced the anticandidal activity of peptides. Increasing the cationicity of the uperin 3.6 analogues resulted in reduced MIC from the range of 64-128 mg/L to 16-64 mg/L and this was also correlated with the antibiofilm activity and killing kinetics of the peptides. Peptides showed synergistic effects when used in combination with conventional antifungals. Peptides demonstrated low haemolytic activity but significant toxicity on two normal human epithelial cell lines. This study provides us with a better understanding on the structure-activity relationship and the balance between cationicity and hydrophobicity of the peptides although the therapeutic application of the peptides is limited.