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Microcin J25 (MccJ25) is a plasmid-encoded, ribosomally synthesized antibacterial peptide with a unique lasso structure. The lasso structure, produced with the aid of two processing enzymes, provides exceptional stability to MccJ25. We report the synthesis of six peptides (16), derived from the MccJ25 sequence, that are designed to form folded conformation by disulfide bond formation and electrostatic or hydrophobic interactions. Two peptides (1 and 6) display good activity against Salmonella newport, and are the first synthetic derivatives of MccJ25 that are bactericidal. Peptide 1 displays potent activity against several Salmonella strains including two MccJ25 resistant strains. The solution conformation and the stability studies of the active peptides suggest that they do not fold into a lasso conformation and peptide 1 displays antimicrobial activity by inhibition of target cell respiration. Like MccJ25, the synthetic MccJ25 derivatives display minimal toxicity to mammalian cells suggesting that these peptides act specifically on bacterial cells.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, volume 20, issue 5, in 2012. DOI: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.12.061

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