Tertiary structure-related activity of tick defensin (persulcatusin) in the taiga tick, Ixodes persulcatus

Emiko Isogai, Hiroshi Isogai, Kazuhiko Okumura, Hatsuhiro Hori, Hiroki Tsuruta, Yoichi Kurebayashi

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Defensins are small cysteine-rich cationic proteins found in both vertebrates and invertebrates constituting the front line of host innate immunity. To examine the importance of the tertiary structure of tick defensin in its antimicrobial activity, we synthesized two types of the peptides with tertiary structure or primary one on basis of the information of the sequence in the defensin originated from the taiga tick, Ixodes persulcatus. Chemically synthesized peptides were used to investigate the activity spectrum against Staphylococcus aureus, Borrelia garinii and flora-associated bacteria. Both synthetic peptides showed antimicrobial activity against S. aureus in short-time killing within 1 h, but they do not show the activity against B. garinii, Stenotrophomonas maltophila and Bacillus spp., which were frequently isolated from the midgut of I. persulcatus. The teriary structure brought more potent activity to S. aureus than primary one in short-time killing. We also examined its antimicrobial activity by evaluation of growth inhibition in the presence of the synthetic peptides. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was ranged from 1.2 to 5.0 μg/ml in tertiary peptide and from 10 to 40 μg/ml in primary peptide, when 10 strains of S. aureus were used. From the curve of cumulative inhibition rates, MIC50 (MIC which half of the strains showed) to S. aureus is about 1.2 μg/ml in the peptide with tertiary structure and about 10 μg/ml in the linear one. Corynebacteriumrenale is 10 times or more sensitive to tertiary peptide than primary one. In conclusion, the presence of 3 disulfide bridges, which stabilize the molecule and maintain the tertiary structure, is considered to have an effect on their antimicrobial activities against Gram-positive bacteria such as S. aureus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-77
    Number of pages7
    JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan


    • Antimicrobial activity
    • Defensin
    • Ixodes persulcatus
    • Tertiary structure

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Insect Science


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