Molecules. 2021 Oct 4;26(19):6025. doi: 10.3390/molecules26196025.
Fighting resistance to antibiotics and chemotherapeutics has brought bioactive peptides to the fore. Peptaibols are short α-aminoisobutyric acid-containing peptides produced by Trichoderma species. Here, we studied the production of peptaibols by Trichoderma atroviride O1 and evaluated their antibacterial and anticancer activity against drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant bacterium and cancer cell lines. This was substantiated by an analysis of the activity of the peptaibol synthetase-encoding gene. Atroviridins, 20-residue peptaibols were detected using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Gram-positive bacteria were susceptible to peptaibol-containing extracts of T. atroviride O1. A synergic effect of extract constituents was possible, and the biolo-gical activity of extracts was pronounced in/after the peak of peptaibol synthetase activity. The growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was reduced to just under 10% compared to the control. The effect of peptaibol-containing extracts was strongly modulated by the lipoteichoic acid and only slightly by the horse blood serum present in the cultivation medium. Peptaibol-containing extracts affected the proliferation of human breast cancer and human ovarian cancer cell lines in a 2D model, including the multidrug-resistant sublines. The peptaibols influenced the size and compactness of the cell lines in a 3D model. Our findings indicate the molecular basis of peptaibol production in T. atroviride O1 and the potential of its peptaibol-containing extracts as antimicrobial/anticancer agents.