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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


Molecular and Cellular Microbiology  |  Functional Genomics and Systems Biology

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett.

Received: August 15, 2021; Revised: December 30, 2021

The antimicrobial insect peptide CopA3 blocks ethanol-induced liver inflammation and liver cell injury in mice

Ho Kim 1*

Division of Life Science and Chemistry, College of Natural Science, Daejin University

Correspondence to :
Ho Kim, Pocheon, Gyeonggido, 487-711, Republic of Korea [11159]
Tel : 031-539-1855, Fax : 031-539-1850, E-mail :


Alcoholic liver disease (ALD), which encompasses alcoholic steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although the economic and health impacts of ALD are clear, few advances have been made in its prevention or treatment. We recently demonstrated that the insect-derived antimicrobial peptide CopA3 exerts anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammatory activities in various cell systems, including neuronal cells and colonic epithelial cells. Here we tested whether CopA3 inhibits ethanol-induced liver injury in mice. To this end, we intraperitoneally injected mice with ethanol alone or ethanol plus CopA3 for 24 h and then measured liver injury and inflammatory responses. Ethanol enhanced production of the proinflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-a, interleukin (IL)-1, interferon-r and IL-10. It also induced hepatocyte apoptosis and ballooning degeneration of hepatocytes. Notably, all of these effects were eliminated or significantly reduced by CopA3 treatment. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that CopA3 ameliorates ethanol-induced liver cell damage and inflammation, suggesting the therapeutic potential of CopA3 for treating ethanol-induced liver injury.

Keywords: Antimicrobial peptide, insect-derived peptide, , ethanol-induced liver injury, inflammation, apoptosis, ballooning degeneration

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