Microbial drug resistance Journal // Drug Repurposing

Microbial drug resistance Journal

thumbnailCitation: Peters BM, Shirtliff ME, Jabra-Rizk MA (2010) Antimicrobial Peptides: Primeval Molecules or Future Drugs? PLoS Pathog 6(10): e1001067. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001067

Editor: Hiten D. Madhani, University of California San Francisco, United States of America

Copyright: © 2010 Peters et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This work was supported by NIH grants DE14424 and DE016257. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Antimicrobial Peptides: Effector Substances of Innate Immunity

From the outside and within, we are constantly bombarded with a myriad of diverse microbial species. However, our bodies are equipped with an evolutionarily conserved innate immune defense system that allows us to thwart potential pathogens. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a unique and assorted group of molecules produced by living organisms of all types, considered to be part of the host innate immunity. These peptides demonstrate potent antimicrobial activity and are rapidly mobilized to neutralize a broad range of microbes, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi . More significantly, the ability of these natural molecules to kill multidrug-resistant microorganisms has gained them considerable attention and clinical interest . With the growing microbial resistance to conventional antimicrobial agents, the need for unconventional therapeutic options has become urgent. This article provides an overview of AMPs, their biological functions, mechanism of action, and applicability as alternative therapeutic agents.

Structure and Classification

Antimicrobial peptides are small, positively charged, amphipathic molecules (which possess both hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions) of variable amino acid composition and length (six to 100 amino acids). Based on their secondary structure, AMPs are grouped into four major classes: β-sheet, α-helical, loop, and extended peptides . Currently, more than 800 natural AMPs with several different sequences have been isolated from a wide range of organisms (Antimicrobial Peptide Database, ). In humans, the most prominent innate AMPs are the cathelicidins and defensins produced primarily by cells of the immune system and the histatins produced and secreted into the saliva by the parotid, mandibular, and submandibular salivary glands –.

Figure 1. Protein models representing the structural differences of the four classes of antimicrobial peptides.

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Actually, more chance resistant form.

by rent_this_id

Hydros reply below is worded more correctly imo:
>>7. What researchers suggest that vaccination is dangerous because of the genetic pressures? And even if there were genetic pressures, the WORST that would happen is we end up with an influenzavirus that we can't vaccinate against. It won't magically become extra-deadly because we vaccinated against its long-lost ancestor strains.<<
Selection pressure doesn't result in a more virulent form, however, there is ample evidence that a virus can become very quickly resistant to vaccines. Thus, more chance of a resistant form persisting and spreading

I think you're a little off

by Hydrogyrophage

Tamiflu is a drug, not a vaccine. Resistance to drugs happens quickly with drug pressure.
But "resistance" to vaccines only happens when the antigens of the virus particle mutate to be unrecognizable by antibodies. Vaccines do not increase evolutionary pressure for viruses to mutate more quickly - influenza and other RNA viruses already mutate at the maximally efficient level. If they were to mutate any quicker, they wouldn't be able to cause a successful infection, because they would produce too many non-functional virus particles during replication. This has been studied and confirmed in laboratories using several RNA viruses as models, including influenza

Patrick your slipping

by StinkPalm

You haven't posted this one yet and here I thought you were keeping up on swine flu : P
Swine flu 'shows drug resistance'
Experts have reported the first case of swine flu that is resistant to tamiflu - the main drug being used to fight the pandemic.
Roche Holding AG confirmed a patient with H1N1 influenza in Denmark showed resistance to the antiviral drug.
David Reddy, company executive, said it was not unexpected given that common seasonal flu could do the same.
The news comes as a nine-year-old girl has become the third to die in the UK with swine flu

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