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Article

Thrombin-Derived Peptides Potentiate the Activity of Gram-Positive-Specific Antibiotics against Gram-Negative Bacteria

1
Biological Chemistry Group, Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, 2333 Leiden, The Netherlands
2
Department of Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, 3584 Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Bio-Organic Synthesis Group, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, 2333 Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Fintan Kelleher
Molecules 2021, 26(7), 1954; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26071954
Received: 14 March 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2021 / Accepted: 26 March 2021 / Published: 30 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Synthesis of Biologically Active Peptides)
The continued rise of antibiotic resistance threatens to undermine the utility of the world’s current antibiotic arsenal. This problem is particularly troubling when it comes to Gram-negative pathogens for which there are inherently fewer antibiotics available. To address this challenge, recent attention has been focused on finding compounds capable of disrupting the Gram-negative outer membrane as a means of potentiating otherwise Gram-positive-specific antibiotics. In this regard, agents capable of binding to the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) present in the Gram-negative outer membrane are of particular interest as synergists. Recently, thrombin-derived C-terminal peptides (TCPs) were reported to exhibit unique LPS-binding properties. We here describe investigations establishing the capacity of TCPs to act as synergists with the antibiotics erythromycin, rifampicin, novobiocin, and vancomycin against multiple Gram-negative strains including polymyxin-resistant clinical isolates. We further assessed the structural features most important for the observed synergy and characterized the outer membrane permeabilizing activity of the most potent synergists. Our investigations highlight the potential for such peptides in expanding the therapeutic range of antibiotics typically only used to treat Gram-positive infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: LPS-targeting peptides; outer membrane disruption; antibiotic synergy; checkerboard assays LPS-targeting peptides; outer membrane disruption; antibiotic synergy; checkerboard assays
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wesseling, C.M.J.; Wood, T.M.; Slingerland, C.J.; Bertheussen, K.; Lok, S.; Martin, N.I. Thrombin-Derived Peptides Potentiate the Activity of Gram-Positive-Specific Antibiotics against Gram-Negative Bacteria. Molecules 2021, 26, 1954. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26071954

AMA Style

Wesseling CMJ, Wood TM, Slingerland CJ, Bertheussen K, Lok S, Martin NI. Thrombin-Derived Peptides Potentiate the Activity of Gram-Positive-Specific Antibiotics against Gram-Negative Bacteria. Molecules. 2021; 26(7):1954. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26071954

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wesseling, Charlotte M.J., Thomas M. Wood, Cornelis J. Slingerland, Kristine Bertheussen, Samantha Lok, and Nathaniel I. Martin. 2021. "Thrombin-Derived Peptides Potentiate the Activity of Gram-Positive-Specific Antibiotics against Gram-Negative Bacteria" Molecules 26, no. 7: 1954. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26071954

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