Rondonin: antimicrobial properties and mechanism of action

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Infectious diseases are among the major causes of death in the human population. A wide variety of organisms produce antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as part of their first line of defense. A peptide from Acanthoscurria rondoniae plasma, rondonin – with antifungal activity, a molecular mass of 1,236 Da and primary sequence IIIQYEGHKH – was previously studied (Uniprot accession number B3EWP8). It showed identity with the C-terminus of subunit "D" of the hemocyanin of the Aphonopelma hentzi spider. This result led us to propose a new pathway of the immune system of arachnids that suggests a new function to hemocyanin: production of antimicrobial peptides. Rondonin does not interact with model membranes and was able to bind to yeast nucleic acids but not bacteria. It was not cytotoxic against mammalian cells. The antifungal activity of rondonin is pH dependent and peaks at pH ~4-5. The peptide presents synergism with Gomesin (spider hemocyte antimicrobial peptide - UniProtKB - P82358) against human yeast pathogens, suggesting a new potential alternative treatment option. Antiviral activity was detected against RNA viruses, measles, H1N1 and encephalomyocarditis. This is the first report of an arthropod hemocyanin fragment with activity against human viruses. Currently, it is vital to invest in the search for natural and synthetic antimicrobial compounds that, above all, present alternative mechanisms of action to first-choice antimicrobials.
Riciluca KC.T., Oliveira UC, Mendonça RZ, Junior JCB, Schreier S, Silva Junior PI. Rondonin: antimicrobial properties and mechanism of action. FEBS Open Bio. 2021 Sept;11(9):2541-2559. doi:10.1002/2211-5463.13253.
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