One natural antimicrobial peptide (EpVP2a, Eumenes pomiformis Venom Peptide 2a) found in the venom of a potter wasp (Eumenes pomiformis) and six analogs were synthesized and tested to compare their antimicrobial, antifungal, pesticide, and hemolytic activity with the wild type. Our results indicated that while the original peptide and the synthetic analogs had no antifungal activity or anti-bacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the original peptide and the analog with substitution of the aspartic acid on the sequence by a lysine (EpVP2a-D2K2) had activity against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. This same analog also shows significant insecticide activity. The analog with substitution of lysine with a slightly smaller ornithine had activity against E. coli and B. subtilis. All analogs show low hemolytic activity compared to the natural peptide. The peptide with a reverse sequence to the natural one (EpVp2a Retro) shows low helix structure which can also explain why it has no antibacterial activity and low hemolytic activity. Circular dichroism spectra show that these peptides form an alpha helix structure and their amino acid positions predict an amphipathic nature.
Keywords: Alpha-helix; Antifungal; Antimicrobial; Pesticide; Venom; Wasp.
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