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Identification and characterization of multifunctional cationic peptides from traditional Japanese fermented soybean Natto extracts

Taniguchi, M;Aida, R;Saito, K;Ochiai, A;Takesono, S;Saitoh, E;Tanaka, T;

In this study, we investigated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-neutralizing and angiogenic activities of cationic peptides derived from the traditional Japanese fermented product Natto, which is made by fermenting cooked soybeans using Bacillus subtilis. Initially, we prepared 20 fractions of Natto extracts with various isoelectric points (pI’s) using ampholyte-free isoelectric focusing (autofocusing). Cationic peptides were then purified from fractions 19 and 20, whose pH values were greater than 12, using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, and were identified using matrix-assisted laser/desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. Among the 13 identified cationic peptides, seven (KFNKYGR, FPFPRPPHQK, GQSSRPQDRHQK, QRFDQRSPQ, ERQFPFPRPPHQK, GEIPRPRPRPQHPE, and EQPRPIPFPRPQPR) had pI’s greater than 9.5, positive net charges, and differing molecular weights. These peptides were then chemically synthesized and applied to chromogenic LPS-neutralizing assays using Limulus amebocyte lysates, and 50% effective (neutralizing) concentrations of 2.6-5.5 M were demonstrated. In addition, tube formation assays in human umbilical vein endothelial cells revealed angiogenic activities for all but one (GEIPRPRPRPQHPE) of these seven cationic peptides, with increases in relative tube lengths of 23-31% in the presence of peptides at 10 M. Subsequent experiments showed negligible hemolytic activity of these peptides at concentrations of up to 500 M in mammalian red blood cells. Collectively, these data demonstrate that six cationic peptides from Natto extracts, with the exception of GEIPRPRPRPQHPE, have LPS-neutralizing and angiogenic activities but do not induce hemolysis. Copyright 2018 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.