Acne vulgaris is a common skin disease mainly caused by the Gram-positive pathogenic bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes. This bacterium stimulates the inflammation process in human sebaceous glands. The giant African snail (Achatina fulica) is an alien species that rapidly reproduces and seriously damages agricultural products in Thailand. There were several research reports on the medical and pharmaceutical benefits of these snail mucus peptides and proteins. This study aimed to in silico predict multifunctional bioactive peptides from A. fulica mucus peptidome using bioinformatic tools for the determination of antimicrobial (iAMPpred), anti-biofilm (dPABBs), cytotoxic (ToxinPred) and cell-membrane-penetrating (CPPpred) peptides. Three candidate peptides with the highest predictive score were selected and re-designed/modified to improve the required activities. Structural and physicochemical properties of six anti-P. acnes (APA) peptide candidates were performed using the PEP-FOLD3 program and the four previous tools. All candidates had a random coiled structure and were named APAP-1 ori, APAP-2 ori, APAP-3 ori, APAP-1 mod, APAP-2 mod, and APAP-3 mod. To validate the APA activity, these peptide candidates were synthesized and tested against six isolates of P. acnes. The modified APA peptides showed high APA activity on three isolates. Therefore, our biomimetic mucus peptides could be useful for preventing acne vulgaris and further examined on other activities important to medical and pharmaceutical applications.
Keywords: Achatina fulica; Propionibacterium acnes; antibacterial peptides; peptidomes; snail mucus.