International Microbiology, Vol 20, No 1 (2017)

Antimicrobial peptide from Bacillus subtilis CSB138: characterization, killing kinetics, and synergistic potency

Sudip Regmi, Yoon Seok Choi, Yun Hee Choi, Young Kyun Kim, Seung Sik Cho, Jin Cheol Yoo, Joo-Won Suh


We studied the prospect of synergy between the antimicrobial peptide p138c and non-peptide antibiotics for increasing the potency and bacterial killing kinetics of these agents. The production of p138c was maximized in the late exponential growth phase of Bacillus subtilis CSB138. Purification of p138c resulted in a total of 4800 arbitrary units (AU) with 19.15-fold and 3.2% recovery. Peptide p138c was thermo-tolerant up to 50 °C and stable at pH 5.8 to 11. The biochemical nature of p138c was determined by a bioassay, similar to tricine-SDS-PAGE, indicating inhibition at 3 kDa. The amino acid sequence of p138c was Gly-Leu-Glu-Glu-Thr-Val-Tyr-Ile-Tyr-Gly-Ala-Asn-Met-X-Ser. Potency and killing kinetics against vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus improved considerably when p138c was synergized with oxacillin, ampicillin, and penicillin G. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of p138c showed a 4-, 8-, and 16-fold improvement when p138c was combined with oxacillin, ampicillin, and penicillin G, respectively. The fractional inhibitory concentration index for the combination of p138c and oxacillin, ampicillin, and penicillin G was 0.3125, 0.25, and 0.09, respectively. Synergy with non-peptide antibiotics resulted in enhanced killing kinetics of p138c. Hence, the synergy between antimicrobial peptide and non-peptide antibiotics may enhance the potency and bacterial killing kinetics, providing more potent and rapidly acting agents for therapeutic use. [Int Microbiol 20(1):43-53 (2017)]

Keywords: Bacillus subtilis · antimicrobial peptides · killing kinetics

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