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. 2016 Jun;363(11):fnw095.
doi: 10.1093/femsle/fnw095. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Characterization of a Highly Potent Antimicrobial Peptide Microcin N From Uropathogenic Escherichia Coli

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Characterization of a Highly Potent Antimicrobial Peptide Microcin N From Uropathogenic Escherichia Coli

Kamaljit Kaur et al. FEMS Microbiol Lett. .

Abstract

Microcin N is a low-molecular weight, highly active antimicrobial peptide produced by uropathogenic Escherichia coli In this study, the native peptide was expressed and purified from pGOB18 plasmid carrying E. coli in low yield. The pure peptide was characterized using mass spectrometry, N-terminal sequencing by Edman degradation as well as trypsin digestion. We found that the peptide is 74-residue long, cationic (+2 total charge), highly hydrophobic and consists of glycine as the first N-terminal residue. The minimum inhibitory concentration of the peptide against Salmonella enteritidis was found to be 150 nM. Evaluation of the solution conformation of the peptide using circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that the peptide is well folded in 40% trifluoroethanol with helical structure whereas the folded structure is lost in aqueous solution. To increase the yield of this potent peptide, we overexpressed GST-tagged microcin N using E. coli BL21. Recombinant GST-tagged microcin N was successfully expressed in E. coli BL21; however, the cleaved mature microcin N did not show activity against the indicator strain (S. enterica) most likely due to the extreme hydrophobic nature of the peptide. Efforts to produce active microcin N in large scale are discussed as this peptide has huge potential to be the next generation antimicrobial agent.

Keywords: antibacterial activity; bacteriocin; mass spectrometry: N-terminal sequencing; microcin N; recombinant microcin N.

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