Therapeutic potential of a scorpion venom-derived antimicrobial peptide and its homologs against antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive bacteria

Gaomin Liu, Fan Yang, Fangfang Li, Zhongjie Li, Yange Lang, Bingzheng Shen, Yingliang Wu, Wenxin Li, Patrick L. Harrison, Peter N. Strong, Yingqiu Xie, Keith Miller, Zhijian Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The alarming rise in the prevalence of antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria poses a unique challenge for the development of effective therapeutic agents. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have attracted a great deal of attention as a possible solution to the increasing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Marcin-18 was identified from the scorpion Mesobuthus martensii at both DNA and protein levels. The genomic sequence revealed that the marcin-18 coding gene contains a phase-I intron with a GT-AG splice junction located in the DNA region encoding the N-terminal part of signal peptide. The peptide marcin-18 was also isolated from scorpion venom. A protein sequence homology search revealed that marcin-18 shares extremely high sequence identity to the AMPs meucin-18 and megicin-18. In vitro, chemically synthetic marcin-18 and its homologs (meucin-18 and megicin-18) showed highly potent inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including some clinical antibiotic-resistant strains. Importantly, in a mouse acute peritonitis model, these peptides significantly decreased the bacterial load in ascites and rescued nearly all mice heavily infected with clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from lethal bacteremia. Peptides exerted antimicrobial activity via a bactericidal mechanism and killed bacteria through membrane disruption. Taken together, marcin-18 and its homologs have potential for development as therapeutic agents for treating antibiotic-resistant, Gram-positive bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1159
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume9
Issue numberMAY
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 29 2018

Fingerprint

Scorpion Venoms
Gram-Positive Bacteria
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Peptides
Bacteria
Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections
Therapeutics
Scorpions
Amino Acid Sequence Homology
Bacterial Load
DNA
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Microbial Drug Resistance
Protein Sorting Signals
Bacteremia
Peritonitis
Ascites
Introns
Membranes
Genes

Keywords

  • Activity and mechanism
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Scorpion
  • Venom peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Therapeutic potential of a scorpion venom-derived antimicrobial peptide and its homologs against antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive bacteria. / Liu, Gaomin; Yang, Fan; Li, Fangfang; Li, Zhongjie; Lang, Yange; Shen, Bingzheng; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Harrison, Patrick L.; Strong, Peter N.; Xie, Yingqiu; Miller, Keith; Cao, Zhijian.

In: Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 9, No. MAY, 1159, 29.05.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Liu, G, Yang, F, Li, F, Li, Z, Lang, Y, Shen, B, Wu, Y, Li, W, Harrison, PL, Strong, PN, Xie, Y, Miller, K & Cao, Z 2018, 'Therapeutic potential of a scorpion venom-derived antimicrobial peptide and its homologs against antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive bacteria', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 9, no. MAY, 1159. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01159
Liu, Gaomin ; Yang, Fan ; Li, Fangfang ; Li, Zhongjie ; Lang, Yange ; Shen, Bingzheng ; Wu, Yingliang ; Li, Wenxin ; Harrison, Patrick L. ; Strong, Peter N. ; Xie, Yingqiu ; Miller, Keith ; Cao, Zhijian. / Therapeutic potential of a scorpion venom-derived antimicrobial peptide and its homologs against antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive bacteria. In: Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. MAY.
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