Biocidal Activity of Chicken Defensin-9 against Microbial Pathogens

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defensin, antibacterial peptide, antifungal peptide, synthetic defensin, défensine, peptide antibactérien, peptide antifongique, défensine synthétique

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In this study we identified the expression patterns of β-defensin-9 in chickens from Saudi Arabia, evaluated the antimicrobial activities of synthetic chicken β-defensin-9 (sAvBD-9) against pathogenic bacteria and fungi, and investigated the mode of action of sAvBD-9 on bacterial cells. The AvBD-9 gene of Saudi chickens encodes a polypeptide of 67 amino acids, which is highly similar to the polypeptide in duck, quail, and goose (97%, 86%, and 87%, respectively) and shares a low sequence similarity with the mammalian defensins. AvBD-9 is expressed in various organs and tissues of Saudi chickens and inhibits the growth of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, as well as showing activity against unicellular and multicellular fungi (Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, and Candida albicans). sAvBD-9 completely inhibited the growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains as well as Candida albicans. The haemolytic effects of sAvBD-9 were limited. Morphological analysis by TEM revealed that sAvBD-9 induces shortening and swelling of Staphylococcus aureus and Shigella sonni cells, opens holes and deep craters in their envelopes, and leads to the release of their cytoplasmic content. Our data shed light on the potential applications of sAvBD-9 in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Biochemistry and Cell Biology, v. 94, issue 2, p. 176-187