The emergence of multidrug resistance coupled with shrinking antibiotic pipelines has increased the demand of antimicrobials with novel mechanisms of action. Therefore, researchers across the globe are striving to develop new antimicrobial substances to alleviate the pressure on conventional antibiotic therapies. Host-Defence Peptides (HDPs) and their derivatives are emerging as effective therapeutic agents against microbial resistance. In this study, five analogs (DP1-5) of the N-terminal (N-15) fragment of CATH-2 were designed based on the delicate balance between various physicochemical properties such as charge, aliphatic character, amphipathicity and hydrophobicity. By means of in-silico and in-vitro studies a novel peptide (DP1) with the sequence “RFGRFLRKILRFLKK” was found to be more effective and less toxic than the N-terminal CATH-2 peptide. Circular dichroism spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry were applied for structural insights. Antimicrobial, haemolytic, and cytotoxic activities were also assessed. The resulting peptide was characterized by low cytotoxicity, low haemolytic activity, and efficient anti-microbial activity. Structurally, it displayed strong helical properties irrespective of the solvent environment and was stable in membrane-mimicking environments. Taken together, the data suggests that DP1 can be explored as a promising therapeutic agent with possible clinical applications.
We are working at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology Mohali, one of the leading research institutes in India in the field of Nano Science. INST is located in Chandigarh, one of the major cities of India.