The growing problem of antimicrobial resistance highlights the need for alternative strategies to combat infections. From this perspective, there is a considerable interest in natural molecules obtained from different sources, which are shown to be active against microorganisms, either alone or in association with conventional drugs. In this paper, peptides with the same sequence of fragments, found in human serum, derived from physiological proteins, were evaluated for their antifungal activity. A 13-residue peptide, representing the 597–609 fragment within the albumin C-terminus, was proved to exert a fungicidal activity in vitro against pathogenic yeasts and a therapeutic effect in vivo in the experimental model of candidal infection in Galleria mellonella. Studies by confocal microscopy and transmission and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that the peptide penetrates and accumulates in Candida albicans cells, causing gross morphological alterations in cellular structure. These findings add albumin to the group of proteins, which already includes hemoglobin and antibodies, that could give rise to cryptic antimicrobial fragments, and could suggest their role in anti-infective homeostasis. The study of bioactive fragments from serum proteins could open interesting perspectives for the development of new antimicrobial molecules derived by natural sources.
A peptide found in human serum, derived from the c-terminus of albumin, shows antifungal activity in vitro and in vivo / Ciociola, T.; Zanello, P. P.; D'Adda, T.; Galati, S.; Conti, S.; Magliani, W.; Giovati, L.. - In: MICROORGANISMS. - ISSN 2076-2607. - 8:10(2020), pp. 1-13. [10.3390/microorganisms8101627]
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