Korean J Parasitol.  2020 Apr;58(2):173-179. 10.3347/kjp.2020.58.2.173.

A Novel Anti-Microbial Peptide from Pseudomonas, REDLK Induced Growth Inhibition of Leishmania tarentolae Promastigote In Vitro

  • 1Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Research by Ministry of Education, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun 130062, China
  • 2Clinical laboratory, the Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130000, China
  • 3Jilin Academy of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Changchun 130062, China
  • 4Department of Pathology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao 266071, China


Leishmaniasis is a prevalent cause of death and animal morbidity in underdeveloped countries of endemic area. However, there is few vaccine and effective drugs. Antimicrobial peptides are involved in the innate immune response in many organisms and are being developed as novel drugs against parasitic infections. In the present study, we synthesized a 5-amino acid peptide REDLK, which mutated the C-terminus of Pseudomonas exotoxin, to identify its effect on the Leishmania tarentolae. Promastigotes were incubated with different concentration of REDLK peptide, and the viability of parasite was assessed using MTT and Trypan blue dye. Morphologic damage of Leishmania was analyzed by light and electron microscopy. Cellular apoptosis was observed using the annexin V-FITC/PI apoptosis detection kit, mitochondrial membrane potential assay kit and flow cytometry. Our results showed that Leishmania tarentolae was susceptible to REDLK in a dose-dependent manner, disrupt the surface membrane integrity and caused parasite apoptosis. In our study, we demonstrated the leishmanicidal activity of an antimicrobial peptide REDLK from Pseudomonas aeruginosa against Leishmania tarentolae in vitro and present a foundation for further research of anti-leishmanial drugs.


; ; leishmaniasis; antimicrobial peptide; REDLK
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