A short D-enantiomeric antimicrobial peptide with potent immunomodulatory and antibiofilm activity against multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii
Mohamed, Mohamed F.
Seleem, Mohamed N.
MetadataShow full item record
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) represent a promising therapeutic alternative for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The present study investigates the antimicrobial activity of new, rationally-designed derivatives of a short α-helical peptide, RR. From the peptides designed, RR4 and its D-enantiomer, D-RR4, emerged as the most potent analogues with a more than 32-fold improvement in antimicrobial activity observed against multidrug-resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii. Remarkably, D-RR4 demonstrated potent activity against colistin-resistant strains of P. aeruginosa (isolated from cystic fibrosis patients) indicating a potential therapeutic advantage of this peptide over several AMPs. In contrast to many natural AMPs, D-RR4 retained its activity under challenging physiological conditions (high salts, serum, and acidic pH). Furthermore, D-RR4 was more capable of disrupting P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii biofilms when compared to conventional antibiotics. Of note, D-RR4 was able to bind to lipopolysaccharide to reduce the endotoxin-induced proinflammatory cytokine response in macrophages. Finally, D-RR4 protected Caenorhabditis elegans from lethal infections of P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii and enhanced the activity of colistin in vivo against colistin-resistant P. aeruginosa.