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Title: DHA Modified Tat Peptide as an Effective Antimicrobial Agent
Keywords: Antimicrobial peptide, Fatty acid conjugation, Minimum Inhibitory concentration, Haemolysis, Gram positive bacteria, Fatty acid unsaturation
Issue Date: 17-Aug-2011
Citation: AJITHA SUNDARESAN (2011-08-17). DHA Modified Tat Peptide as an Effective Antimicrobial Agent. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Indiscriminate use of conventional antibiotics has led to the development of resistance by various strains of bacteria and fungi against majority of drugs currently in use. Hence the need to develop alternative strategies for combating these microbial infections is highly pertinent and relevant to the field of medicinal therapy and healthcare development. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are one such promising candidate, owing to their broad spectrum of activity and unique mechanisms of action, which renders it difficult for the pathogen to develop resistance against them. Ideally, such antimicrobial peptides should selectively target microbial membranes without affecting the host mammalian cells. This study aims to develop a new synthetic antimicrobial amphiphilic peptide to target different bacteria and fungi without causing appreciable cytotoxicity. The first part of the thesis deals with the design and chemical synthesis of a polyunsaturated fatty acid conjugated peptide. Several characterization techniques were used to confirm the successful conjugation of the fatty acid to the peptide and to understand its functional attributes. A control amphiphilic peptide which differs only in the degree of unsaturation of the fatty acid was similarly synthesized and characterized. The two peptides were also found to self-assemble in solution forming nanoparticles. The next part of the thesis describes the in vitro studies done to test the biological activity of the synthetic amphiphilic peptides. The minimum inhibition concentration assay was performed against pathogenic organisms like Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. The cytotoxicity of the two amphiphilic peptides was also tested by means of the haemolysis assay against rat red blood cells. The conjugation of the polyunsaturated fatty acid to the peptide improved its antimicrobial activity without compromising on its haemolytic activity. In conclusion, the polyunsaturated fatty acid-peptide conjugate could be used as a potential therapeutic to combat microbial infections.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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