Synergy of histone-derived peptides of coho salmon with lysozyme and flounder pleurocidin

A. Patrzykat, L. Zhang, V. Mendoza, G. K. Iwama, R. E.W. Hancock

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100 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has identified endogenous cationic antimicrobial peptides as important factors in the innate immunity of many organisms, including fish. It is known that antimicrobial activity, as well as lysozyme activity, can be induced in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) mucus after exposure of the fish to infectious agents. Since lysozyme alone does not have antimicrobial activity against Vibrio anguillarum and Aeromonas salmonicida, a four-step protein purification protocol was used to isolate and identify antibacterial fractions from bacterially challenged coho salmon mucus and blood. The purification consisted of extraction with hot acetic acid, extraction and concentration on a C18 cartridge, gel filtration, and reverse-phase chromatography on a C18 column. N-terminal amino acid sequence analyses revealed that both the blood and the mucus antimicrobial fractions demonstrated identity with the N terminus of trout H1 histone. Mass spectroscopic analysis indicated the presence of the entire histone, as well as fragments thereof, including a 26-amino-acid N-terminal segment. These fractions inhibited the growth of antibiotic-supersuscptible Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, as well as A. salmonicida and V. anguillarum. Synthetic peptides identical to the N-terminally acetylated or C-terminally amidated 26-amino-acid fragment were inactive in antimicrobial assays, but they potentiated the antimicrobial activities of the flounder peptide pleurocidin, lysozyme, and crude lysozyme-containing extracts from coho salmon. The peptides bound specifically to anionic lipid monolayers. However, synergy with pleurocidin did not appear to occur at the cell membrane level. The synergistic activities of inducible histone peptides indicate that they play an important role in the first line of salmon defenses against infectious pathogens and that while some histone fragments may have direct antimicrobial effects, others improve existing defenses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1342
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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