Objective—To design short and potent analogs of bovine lactoferricin by use of the concepts of lipophilic bulk and cationic charge.
Sample Population—5 synthetic peptides of bovine lactoferricin.
Procedure—Antibacterial peptides were constructed by synthesizing several decapeptides rich in arginine and tryptophan. Basic residues of bovine lactoferricin (bLf 20-29; residues 20 to 29) were modified by substitution with arginine or lysine and nonbasic residues were modified by substitution with tryptophan, phenylalanine, or isoleucine. Synthetic peptides of bovine lactoferrin (LFB) were designated as LFB-RW (RRWWWRWRRW), LFB-KW (KKWWWKWKKW), LFB-RWa (RRWWRRWRRW), LFB-RF (RRFFFRFRRF), and LFB-RI (RRIIIRWRRI), where R, K, W, F, and I stand for arginine, lysine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, and isoleucine, respectively. Peptides were evaluated by determining their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus,and Enterococcus faecalis.
Results—LFB-RW, LFB-KW, and LFB-RWa possessed equivalent potency as bLf 20-29 against E coli. LFB-RW and LFB-RWa had a 2-fold increase in growth-inhibitory and bactericidal activity against S aureus, compared with bLf 20-29. LFB-RI had the lowest MIC value against E coli among the peptides but lost bactericidal activity. LFB-RW and LFB-KW had stronger bactericidal activities against S aureus or E faecalis, respectively, as well as E coli than the other synthetic peptides. LFB-RF also had antibacterial activity, but this was 2-fold less than that of LFBRW, as determined by MIC and MBC values.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In construction of potent antibacterial peptides, inclusion of arginine, lysine, tryptophan, or isoleucine residues enhances effectiveness against certain bacteria, as measured by MIC or MBC values. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1088–1092)