ADMET profiling and molecular docking of potential antimicrobial peptides previously isolated from African catfish, Clarias gariepinus
Amidst rising cases of antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as a promising alternative to traditional antibiotics. Even so, poor pharmacokinetic profiles of certain AMPs impede their utility necessitating, a careful assessment of potential AMPs’ absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET) properties during novel lead exploration. Accordingly, the present study utilized ADMET scores to profile seven previously isolated African catfish antimicrobial peptides (ACAPs). After profiling, the peptides were docked against approved bacterial protein targets to gain insight into their possible mode of action. Promising ACAPs were then chemically synthesized, and their antibacterial activity was validated in vitro utilizing the broth dilution method. All seven examined antimicrobial peptides passed the ADMET screening, with two (ACAP-IV and ACAP-V) exhibiting the best ADMET profile scores. The ACAP-V had a higher average binding energy (−8.47 kcal/mol) and average global energy (−70.78 kcal/mol) compared to ACAP-IV (−7.60 kcal/mol and −57.53 kcal/mol), with the potential to penetrate and disrupt bacterial cell membrane (PDB Id: 2w6d). Conversely, ACAP-IV peptide had higher antibacterial activity against E. coli and S. aureus (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration, 520.7 ± 104.3 μg/ml and 1666.7 ± 416.7 μg/ml, respectively) compared to ACAP-V. Collectively, the two antimicrobial peptides (ACAP-IV and ACAP-V) are potential novel leads for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Future research is recommended to optimize the expression of such peptides in biological systems for extended evaluation.