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Snakin-2, an Antimicrobial Peptide from Potato Whose Gene Is Locally Induced by Wounding and Responds to Pathogen Infection

E.T.S.I. Agrónomos (UPM)
Publication Date
  • Biología
  • Chemistry


The thionin from Pyrularia pubera (Pp-TH), a 47-residue peptide with four internal disulfide bonds, was efficiently produced by chemical synthesis. Its antimicrobial activity in vitro against several representative pathogens (EC50=0.3–3.0 μM) was identical to that of natural Pp-TH. This peptide has a unique Asp32instead of the consensus Arg found in other thionins of the same family. In order to evaluate the effect of this mutation, the Arg32 analogue (Pp-TH(D32R)) was also synthesized and showed a significant increase in antibiotic activity against several Gram-negative bacteria, whereas it retained the same activity against other pathogens. The overall structure of Pp-TH(D32R) was maintained, though a slight decrease in the helical content of the peptide was observed. The peptide snakin-2 (StSN2) has been isolated from potato (Solanum tuberosum cv Jaerla) tubers and found to be active (EC50 = 1-20 µM) against fungal and bacterial plant pathogens. It causes a rapid aggregation of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The correspondingStSN2 cDNA encodes a signal sequence followed by a 15-residue acidic sequence that precedes the mature StSN2 peptide, which is basic (isoelectric point = 9.16) and 66 amino acid residues long (molecular weight of 7,025). The StSN2 gene is developmentally expressed in tubers, stems, flowers, shoot apex, and leaves, but not in roots, or stolons, and is locally up-regulated by wounding and by abscisic acid treatment. Expression of this gene is also up-regulated after infection of potato tubers with the compatible fungus Botritys cinerea and down-regulated by the virulent bacteriaRalstonia solanacearum and Erwinia chrysanthemi. These observations are congruent with the hypothesis that the StSN2 is a component of both constitutive and inducible defense barriers.

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