Two new cationic alpha-helical peptides identified from the venom gland of Liocheles australasiae possess antimicrobial activity against methicillin-resistant staphylococci

Toxicon. 2021 Apr 6:S0041-0101(21)00106-9. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2021.04.002. Online ahead of print.


Methicillin-resistant staphylococci have become growing threats to human health, and novel antimicrobials are urgently needed. Natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are promising alternatives to traditional antibiotics. Here, two novel cationic α-helical antimicrobial peptides, Lausporin-1 and Lausporin-2, were identified from the venom gland of the scorpion L. australasiae through a cDNA library screening strategy. Biochemical analyses demonstrated that Lausporin-1 and Lausporin-2 are cationic α-helical amphipathic molecules. Antimicrobial assays demonstrated that the two peptides possess antibacterial activities against several species of antibiotic-resistant staphylococci. Importantly, they are active against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus capitis, with the minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 10 μg/ml. Moreover, both peptides can induce dose-dependent plasma membrane disruptions of the bacteria. In short, our work expands the knowledge of the scorpion L. australasiae venom-derived AMPs and sheds light on the potential of Lausporin-1 and Lausporin-2 in the development of novel drugs against methicillin-resistant staphylococci.

PMID:33836178 | DOI:10.1016/j.toxicon.2021.04.002