Chemical and biological characteristics of antimicrobial alpha-helical peptides found in solitary wasp venoms and their interactions with model membranes

Solitary wasps use their stinging venoms for paralyzing insect or spider prey and feeding them to their larvae. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms, and found antimicrobial peptides together with some other bioactive peptides. Eumenine mastoparan-AF (EMP-AF) was the first to be found from the venom of the solitary eumenine wasp Anterhynchium flavomarginatum micado, showing antimicrobial, histamine-releasing, and hemolytic activities, and adopting an a-helical secondary structure under appropriate conditions. Further survey of solitary wasp venom components revealed that eumenine wasp venoms contained such antimicrobial a-helical peptides as the major peptide component. This review summarizes the results obtained from the studies of these peptides in solitary wasp venoms and some analogs from the viewpoint of (1) chemical and biological characterization; (2) physicochemical properties and secondary structure; and (3) channel-like pore-forming properties.
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solitary wasp;  venom;  antimicrobial peptide;  linear cationic a-helical peptide;  amphipathic a-helix structure;  channel-like pore-forming activity

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Cabrera MPS, Rangel M, Neto JR, Konno K. Chemical and biological characteristics of antimicrobial alpha-helical peptides found in solitary wasp venoms and their interactions with model membranes. Toxins. 2019 Sep;11(10):559. doi:10.3390/toxins11100559.
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