Published 2005

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Publication details

Journal : Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy , vol. 49 , p. 2399–2406 , 2005

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 0066-4804
Electronic : 1098-6596

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Lüders, Torben; Birkemo, Gunn Alice; Nissen-Meyer, Jon; Andersen, Øivind; Nes, Ingolf

Issue : 6

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Kjetil Aune
Chief Librarian


A 30-residue N-terminally acetylated peptide derived from the N-terminal part of histone HI was identified as the dominant antimicrobial peptide in skin mucus from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). The peptide (termed salmon antimicrobial peptide [SAMP H1]) was purified to homogeneity by a combination of reversed-phase and cation-exchange chromatographies. By Edman degradation of the deacetylated peptide and by sequencing of the PCR-amplified DNA that encodes the peptide, the complete amino acid sequence was determined to be AEVAPAPAAAAPAKAPKKKAAAKPKKAGPS. The theoretical molecular weight of N-terminally acetylated SAMP HI was calculated to be 2,836, which is the same as that determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. The peptide was active against both gram-negative and -positive bacteria. The N-terminal acetyl group was not necessary for activity since deacetylation did not reduce the activity. A synthetic peptide whose sequence was identical to that of the isolated fragment was initially inactive but could be activated by binding it to a cation-exchange column. Treatment of the synthetic peptide when it was bound to the exchange column with peptidylproline cis-trans-isomerase increased the amount of active peptide, indicating that isomerization of the proline peptide bond(s)was necessary for activation of the synthetic peptide. Comparison of the active and inactive forms by circular dichroism and chromatographic analyses suggests that the active form, both the natural and the synthetic forms, is more structured, condensed, and rigid than the inactive form, which has a more nonstructured conformation. This work shows for the first time the importance of proline isomers in the activity of an antimicrobial peptide.