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In vitro spermicidal activity of peptides from amphibian skin: dermaseptin S4 and derivatives.

Abstract : Sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies present a great risk to the reproductive health of women. Therefore, female-controlled vaginal products directed toward disease prevention and contraception are needed urgently. In the present study, efforts were made to evaluate the contraceptive potency of dermaseptin DS4, an antimicrobial peptide derived from frog skin. To assess the structure-activity relationship between the native DS4 and its derivatives, a set of chemically modified peptides was synthesized and evaluated. Normal human semen samples were used to detect the spermicidal activity of the new compounds. HeLa cultures were used to determine the safety of compounds toward their toxicity. Fluorescent-binding assays were performed to evaluate the rapidity and the irreversibility of the sperm-immobilizing activity of peptides. All DS4 derivatives elicited concentration-dependent spermicidal activity at microgram concentrations (EC(100) values: 25 microg/ml-l mg/ml). The order was K4S4=S4a>S4>K4S4(1-16)a>S4(6-28). In cytotoxicity assay, some compounds were found to be significantly safer than nonoxynol-9, the most widely used spermicide, and their activity was not accompanied by total loss of plasma membrane integrity as detected by fluorescent microscopy. Our data also show that increasing the number of positive charges of the peptide resulted in a reduced cytotoxicity without affecting the spermicidal effect. This study indicates that dermaseptins are spermicidal molecules that deserve to be tested as topical contraceptive with useful activities that can add to their prophylaxis, safety, and effectiveness.
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https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-00285702
Contributor : Mireille Gau <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 6, 2008 - 10:26:56 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 11:16:55 AM

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Amira Zairi, Catherine Serres, Frédéric Tangy, Pierre Jouannet, Khaled Hani. In vitro spermicidal activity of peptides from amphibian skin: dermaseptin S4 and derivatives.. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, Elsevier, 2008, 16 (1), pp.266-75. ⟨10.1016/j.bmc.2007.09.045⟩. ⟨pasteur-00285702⟩

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