Activity of an antimicrobial peptide mimetic against planktonic and biofilm cultures of oral pathogens

Nicholas Beckloff, Danielle Laube, Tammy Castro, David Furgang, Steven Park, David Perlin, Dylan Clements, Haizhong Tang, Richard W. Scott, Gregory N. Tew, Gill Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are naturally occurring, broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents that have recently been examined for their utility as therapeutic antibiotics. Unfortunately, they are expensive to produce and are often sensitive to protease digestion. To address this problem, we have examined the activity of a peptide mimetic whose design was based on the structure of magainin, exhibiting its amphiphilic structure. We demonstrate that this compound, meta-phenylene ethynylene (mPE), exhibits antimicrobial activity at nanomolar concentrations against a variety of bacterial and Candida species found in oral infections. Since Streptococcus mutans, an etiological agent of dental caries, colonizes the tooth surface and forms a biofilm, we quantified the activity of this compound against S. mutans growing under conditions that favor biofilm formation. Our results indicate that mPE can prevent the formation of a biofilm at nanomolar concentrations. Incubation with 5 nM mPE prevents further growth of the biofilm, and 100 nM mPE reduces viable bacteria in the biofilm by 3 logs. Structure-function analyses suggest that mPE inhibits the bioactivity of lipopolysaccharide and binds DNA at equimolar ratios, suggesting that it may act both as a membrane-active molecule, similar to magainin, and as an intracellular antibiotic, similar to other AMPs. We conclude that mPE and similar molecules display great potential for development as therapeutic antimicrobials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4125-4132
Number of pages8
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Volume51
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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