Panurgines, novel antimicrobial peptides from the venom of communal bee Panurgus calcaratus (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae)

Abstract

Three novel antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), named panurgines (PNGs), were isolated from the venom of the wild bee Panurgus calcaratus. The dodecapeptide of the sequence LNWGAILKHIIK-NH2 (PNG-1) belongs to the category of α-helical amphipathic AMPs. The other two cyclic peptides containing 25 amino acid residues and two intramolecular disulfide bridges of the pattern Cys8–Cys23 and Cys11–Cys19 have almost identical sequence established as LDVKKIICVACKIXPNPACKKICPK-OH (X=K, PNG-K and X=R, PNG-R). All three peptides exhibited antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria, antifungal activity, and low hemolytic activity against human erythrocytes. We prepared a series of PNG-1 analogs to study the effects of cationicity, amphipathicity, and hydrophobicity on the biological activity. Several of them exhibited improved antimicrobial potency, particularly those with increased net positive charge. The linear analogs of PNG-K and PNG-R having all Cys residues substituted by α-amino butyric acid were inactive, thus indicating the importance of disulfide bridges for the antimicrobial activity. However, the linear PNG-K with all four cysteine residues unpaired, exhibited antimicrobial activity. PNG-1 and its analogs induced a significant leakage of fluorescent dye entrapped in bacterial membrane-mimicking large unilamellar vesicles as well as in vesicles mimicking eukaryotic cell membrane. On the other hand, PNG-K and PNG-R exhibited dye-leakage activity only from vesicles mimicking bacterial cell membrane.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Grant Agency of the Charles University no. 645012, Czech Science Foundation, Grant no. 203/08/0536, and by research project RVO 61388963 of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. We thank our technical assistants Mrs. Hana Hulačová and Mrs. Lenka Borovičková for their help with peptide synthesis. We also thank Gale A. Kirking at English Editorial Services, s.r.o. for assistance with the English.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Václav Čeřovský.

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Čujová, S., Slaninová, J., Monincová, L. et al. Panurgines, novel antimicrobial peptides from the venom of communal bee Panurgus calcaratus (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Amino Acids 45, 143–157 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-013-1482-4

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Keywords

  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Wild bee venom
  • CD spectroscopy
  • Large unilamellar vesicles
  • Electron microscopy