Modification and Targeted Design of N-Terminal Truncates Derived from Brevinin with Improved Therapeutic Efficacy

Haoyang He, Yuqing Chen, Zhuming Ye, Xiaoling Chen, Chengbang Ma, Mei Zhou, Xinping Xi, James Burrows, Tianbao Chen, Lei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a class of molecules that play an essential role in innate immune regulation. The Brevinin-1 family are AMPs that show strong pharmacological and antimicrobial potential. A novel peptide, B1A, was designed based on the primary structure of brevinin-1PLb and brevinin-1PLc. Subsequently, a synthesised replicate was subjected to a series of bioassays and was found to display antimicrobial activity. However, it also displayed high levels of haemolysis in a horse red blood cell haemolytic assay, suggesting potential toxicity. Therefore, we rationally designed a number of B1A analogues with aim of retaining antimicrobial activity, lowering toxicity, and to explore the structure–activity relationship of its N-terminus. B1A and its analogues still retained the “Rana Box” and the FLP-motif, which is a feature of this subfamily. However, the introduction of Lys and Trp residues into the peptide sequences revealed that antimicrobial activity of these analogues remained unchanged once the hydrophobicity and the charge reached the threshold. Hence, the idea that the hydrophobicity saturation in different situations is related to antimicrobial activity can be understood via the structure–activity relationship. Meanwhile, it could also be the starting point for the generation of peptides with specific antimicrobial activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number209
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 06 Aug 2020


  • amphibian skin secretion; antimicrobial peptide; structure-activity relationship; hydrophobicity


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