Antibacterial and antimalarial properties of peptides that are cecropin-melittin hybrids

FEBS Lett. 1989 Dec 18;259(1):103-6. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(89)81505-4.


Solid phase synthesis was used to produce 5 hybrid peptides containing sequences from the antibacterial peptide, cecropin A, and from the bee venom toxin, melittin. Four of these chimeric peptides showed good antibacterial activity against representative Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial species. The best hybrid, cecropin A(1-13)-melittin(1-13) was 100-fold more active than cecropin A against Staphylococcus aureus. It was also a 10-fold better antimalarial agent than cecropin B or magainin 2. Sheep red cells were lysed by melittin at low concentrations, but not by the hybrid molecules, even at 50 times higher concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents*
  • Antimalarials*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides*
  • Bee Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Insect Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Melitten / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antimalarials
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Bee Venoms
  • Insect Hormones
  • Peptides
  • Melitten
  • cecropin A