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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of a Novel Peptide from Pathogenic Leptospira and Its Cytotoxic Effect

1
Department of Molecular Tropical Medicine and Genetics, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
2
Department of Protozoology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
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Proteomics Research Laboratory, National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand
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Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
5
Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7FZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110906
Received: 29 September 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 30 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by pathogenic Leptospira species. Virulence proteins have been shown to be key determinants of the pathogenesis of pathogenic Leptospira. A specific peptide at a mass-to-charge ratio of 7000 Da was identified in Leptospira whole cells using matrix-assisted laser/desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. This peptide was specifically present in pathogenic Leptospira and in clinical isolates. We report here the characterization of this specific peptide using a proteomics approach. This peptide was significantly matched to a hypothetical conserved L. interrogans protein (LA2458) with a calculated molecular weight of 7140.136 Da containing a tellurite-resistance domain at its C terminus (TerB-C). The amino acid sequences revealed the presence of hydrophobic transmembrane portions and two linear B-cell epitopes. Despite its low abundance, this synthetic peptide demonstrated dose-dependent cytotoxicity toward African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells via the apoptosis pathway. The concentration of the peptide 100 µM induced about 50% of cell death after a 24 h exposure. This peptide could be useful for the diagnosis of leptospirosis and the study of pathogenesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: novel peptide; pathogenic Leptospira; cytotoxicity novel peptide; pathogenic Leptospira; cytotoxicity
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Paratsaphan, S.; Moonsom, S.; Reamtong, O.; Roytrakul, S.; Wuthiekanun, V.; Day, N.P.J.; Sonthayanon, P. Characterization of a Novel Peptide from Pathogenic Leptospira and Its Cytotoxic Effect. Pathogens 2020, 9, 906.

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