SMAP29 congeners demonstrate activity against oral bacteria and reduced toxicity against oral keratinocytes

P. L. Weistroffer, S. Joly, R. Srikantha, B. F. Tack, K. A. Brogden, J. M. Guthmiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cathelicidins are antimicrobial peptides found in epithelial and mucosal tissues as well as the secondary granules of neutrophils. SMAP29, a sheep cathelicidin, has differential antimicrobial properties against various pathogens, including periodontal organisms. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial properties and cytotoxicity of SMAP29, SMAP28, and three congeners (SMAP18A, SMAP18D, and SMAP14A). Methods: The peptides at concentrations ranging from 0.25 to 250 μg/ml were tested for their activity against multiple strains of Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguis, Actinomyces israelii, Actinomyces naeslundii, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Peptostreptococcus micros, and Porphyromonas gingivalis using a radial diffusion assay. Cytotoxicity of keratinocytes was evaluated by measuring lactate dehydrogenase release after incubation with the individual peptides. Results: SMAP28, thought to be the biologically active peptide, was the most potent antimicrobial (range of minimum inhibitory concentrations 0.06-7.03 μg/ml, P < 0.05); however, the activity of SMAP28 and SMAP29 was strongly associated (r = 0.933). The congeners also demonstrated antimicrobial activity against the bacteria tested (range of minimum inhibitory concnetrations 0.21-79 μg/ml). Overall, F. nucleatum was the most susceptible organism, while P. gingivalis was the least susceptible. Keratinocyte cytotoxicity was dependent on peptide length and dose. SMAP28 was the most cytotoxic, while SMAP14A was the least cytotoxic. Conclusion: The antimicrobial activities against oral microorganisms and the minimal toxicity seen in this study suggest that the congeners of SMAP29 may serve as an alternative to traditional antibiotics in the prevention and treatment of periodontal and other oral diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalOral Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Cathelicidins
  • Keratinocytes
  • Oral bacteria
  • SMAP29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • General Dentistry
  • Microbiology (medical)


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