Herein we report the identification and characterisation of two linear antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), HG2 and HG4, with activity against a wide range of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, especially methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains, a highly problematic group of Gram-positive bacteria in the hospital and community environment. To identify the novel AMPs presented here, we employed the classifier model design, a feature extraction method using molecular descriptors for amino acids for the analysis, visualization, and interpretation of AMP activitiesfrom a rumen metagenomic dataset. This allowed for the in silicodiscrimination of active and inactive peptides in order to define a small number of promising novel lead AMP test candidates for chemical synthesis and experimental evaluation. In vitrodata suggest that the chosen AMPs are fast acting, show strong biofilm inhibition and dispersal activity and are efficacious in an in vivomodel of MRSA USA 300 infection, whilst showing little toxicity to human erythrocytes and human primary cell lines ex vivo. Observations from biophysical AMP-lipid-interactions and electron microscopy suggest that the newly identified peptides interact with the cell membrane and may be involved in the inhibition of other cellular processes. Amphiphilic conformations associated with membrane disruption are also observed in 3D molecular modelling of the peptides. HG2 and HG4 both preferentially bind to MRSA total lipids rather than with human cell lipids indicating that HG4 may form superior templates for safer therapeutic candidates for MDR bacterial infections.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error