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Temporins are a family of short antimicrobial peptides (8-17 residues) that mostly show potent activity against Gram-positive bacteria. Herein, we demonstrate that temporin-SHd, a 17-residue peptide with a net charge of +2 (FLPAALAGIGGILGKLF(amide)), expressed a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. This peptide displayed potent antibacterial activities against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, as well as antiparasitic activity against promastigote and the intracellular stage (amastigote) of Leishmania infantum, at concentration not toxic for the macrophages. Temporin-SHd that is structured in a non-amphipathic α-helix in anionic membrane-mimetic environments, strongly and selectively perturbs anionic bilayer membranes by interacting with the polar head groups and acyl region of the phospholipids, with formation of regions of two coexisting phases: one phase rich in peptide and the other lipid-rich. The disruption of lipid packing within the bilayer may lead to the formation of transient pores and membrane permeation/disruption once a threshold peptide accumulation is reached. To our knowledge, Temporin-SHd represents the first known 17-residue long temporin expressing such broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity including members of the trypanosomatidae family. Additionally, since only a few shorter members (13 residues) of the temporin family are known to display antileishmanial activity (temporins-TA, -TB and -SHa), SHd is an interesting tool to analyze the antiparasitic mechanism of action of temporins. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Feten Abbassi, Zahid Raja, Bruno Oury, Elodie Gazanion, Christophe Piesse, Denis Sereno, Pierre Nicolas, Thierry Foulon, Ali Ladram. Antibacterial and leishmanicidal activities of temporin-SHd, a 17-residue long membrane-damaging peptide. Biochimie. 2013 Feb;95(2):388-99

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PMID: 23116712

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