Apidaecins are a series of proline-rich, 18- to 20-residue antimicrobial peptides produced by insects. They are predominantly active against the Gram-negative bacteria. Previous studies mainly focused on the identification of their internal macromolecular targets, few addressed on the action of apidaecins on the molecules, especially proteins, of bacterial cell membrane. In this study, iTRAQ-coupled 2-D LC-MS/MS technique was utilized to identify altered membrane proteins of Escherichia coli cells incubated with one isoform of apidaecins—apidaecin IB. Cell division protease ftsH, an essential regulator in maintenance of membrane lipid homeostasis, was found to be overproduced in cells incubated with apidaecin IB. Its over-expression intensified the degradation of cytoplasmic protein UDP-3-O-acyl-N- acetylglucosamine deacetylase, which catalyzes the first committed step in the biosynthesis of the lipid A moiety of LPS, and thus leaded to the further unbalanced biosynthesis of LPS and phospholipids. Our findings suggested a new antibacterial mechanism of apidaecins and perhaps, by extension, for other proline-rich antimicrobial peptides.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 1-June-2011
Author(s): Zhou Y., Chen W.