Nieuw antibioticum in ontwikkeling

20 januari 2009 - Wetenschap

gevonden op de site van the Journal of biological chem.

Hydramacin-1 is a novel antimicrobial protein recently discovered during investigations of the epithelial defense of the ancientmetazoan Hydra. The amino acid sequence of hydramacin-1 shows no sequence homology to any known antimicrobial proteins. Determination of the solution structure revealed that hydramacin-1 possesses a disulfide bridge-stabilized {alpha}β motif. This motif is the common scaffold of the knottin protein fold. The structurally closest relatives are the scorpion oxin-like superfamily. Withinthis superfamily hydramacin-1 establishes a new family of proteins that all share antimicrobial activity.

Hydramacin-1 is potently active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including multi-resistant human pathogenic strains. It leads to aggregation of bacteria as an initial step of its bactericidal mechanism. Aggregated cells are connected via electron-dense contacts and adopt a thorn apple-like morphology. Analysis of the hydramacin-1 structure revealed an unusual distribution of amino acid side chains on the surface. A belt of positively charged residues is sandwiched by two hydrophobic areas. Based on this characteristic surface feature and on biophysical analysis of protein-membrane interactions, we propose a model that describes the aggregation effect exhibited by hydramacin-1

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