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The intrinsic antimicrobial activity of citric acid-coated manganese ferrite nanoparticles is enhanced after conjugation with the antifungal peptide Cm-p5

Authors Lopez-Abarrategui C, Figueroa-Espi V, Lugo-Alvarez M, Pereira C, Garay H, Barbosa J, Falcao R, Jimenez-Hernandez L, Estevez-Hernandez O, Reguera E, Franco O, Dias S, Otero-Gonzalez A

Received 1 March 2016

Accepted for publication 22 May 2016

Published 9 August 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 3849—3857


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Carlos Lopez-Abarrategui,1 Viviana Figueroa-Espi,2 Maria B Lugo-Alvarez,1 Caroline D Pereira,3 Hilda Garay,4 João ARG Barbosa,5 Rosana Falcão,6 Linnavel Jiménez-Hernández,2 Osvaldo Estévez-Hernández,2,7 Edilso Reguera,8 Octavio L Franco,3,9 Simoni C Dias,3 Anselmo J Otero-Gonzalez1

1Faculty of Biology, Center for Protein Studies, 2Lab of Structural Analysis, Institute of Materials Science and Technology, Havana University, La Habana, Havana, Cuba; 3Center for Biochemical and Proteomics Analyses, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil; 4Laboratory of Peptide Analysis and Synthesis, Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, La Habana, Havana, Cuba; 5Department of Cellular Biology, Laboratory of Biophysics, Institute of Biological Science, University of Brasilia, 6Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Center of Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (CENARGEN), Brasilia DF, Brazil; 7Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Materiales (IMRE), Universidad de La Habana, Cuba; 8Research Center for Applied Science and Advanced Technology (CICATA), National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), Lagaria Unit, Mexico DF, Mexico; 9S-Inova Biotech, Post-Graduate in Biotechnology, Universidade Catolica Dom Bosco, Campo Grande, Brazil

Diseases caused by bacterial and fungal pathogens are among the major health problems in the world. Newer antimicrobial therapies based on novel molecules urgently need to be developed, and this includes the antimicrobial peptides. In spite of the potential of antimicrobial peptides, very few of them were able to be successfully developed into therapeutics. The major problems they present are molecule stability, toxicity in host cells, and production costs. A novel strategy to overcome these obstacles is conjugation to nanomaterial preparations. The antimicrobial activity of different types of nanoparticles has been previously demonstrated. Specifically, magnetic nanoparticles have been widely studied in biomedicine due to their physicochemical properties. The citric acid-modified manganese ferrite nanoparticles used in this study were characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, which confirmed the formation of nanocrystals of approximately 5 nm diameter. These nanoparticles were able to inhibit Candida albicans growth in vitro. The minimal inhibitory concentration was 250 µg/mL. However, the nanoparticles were not capable of inhibiting Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) or Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). Finally, an antifungal peptide (Cm-p5) from the sea animal Cenchritis muricatus (Gastropoda: Littorinidae) was conjugated to the modified manganese ferrite nanoparticles. The antifungal activity of the conjugated nanoparticles was higher than their bulk counterparts, showing a minimal inhibitory concentration of 100 µg/mL. This conjugate proved to be nontoxic to a macrophage cell line at concentrations that showed antimicrobial activity.

Keywords: nanoparticles, conjugation, antifungal, Cm-p5 peptide

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