Antimicrobial Peptides: Successes, Challenges and Unanswered Questions

Antimicrobial Peptides: Successes, Challenges and Unanswered Questions Multidrug antibiotic resistance is an increasingly serious public health problem worldwide. Thus, there is a significant and urgent need for the development of new classes of antibiotics that do not induce resistance. To develop such antimicrobial compounds, we must look toward agents with novel mechanisms of action. Membrane-permeabilizing antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are good candidates because they act without high specificity toward a protein target, which reduces the likelihood of induced resistance. Understanding the mechanism of membrane permeabilization is crucial for the development of AMPs into useful antimicrobial agents. Various models, some phenomenological and others more quantitative or semimolecular, have been proposed to explain the action of AMPs. While these models explain many aspects of AMP action, none of the models captures all of the experimental observations, and significant questions remain unanswered. Here, we discuss the state of the field and pose some questions that, if answered, could speed the discovery of clinically useful peptide antibiotics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Membrane Biology Springer Journals

Antimicrobial Peptides: Successes, Challenges and Unanswered Questions

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Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Life Sciences; Human Physiology ; Biochemistry, general
ISSN
0022-2631
eISSN
1432-1424
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00232-011-9343-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Multidrug antibiotic resistance is an increasingly serious public health problem worldwide. Thus, there is a significant and urgent need for the development of new classes of antibiotics that do not induce resistance. To develop such antimicrobial compounds, we must look toward agents with novel mechanisms of action. Membrane-permeabilizing antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are good candidates because they act without high specificity toward a protein target, which reduces the likelihood of induced resistance. Understanding the mechanism of membrane permeabilization is crucial for the development of AMPs into useful antimicrobial agents. Various models, some phenomenological and others more quantitative or semimolecular, have been proposed to explain the action of AMPs. While these models explain many aspects of AMP action, none of the models captures all of the experimental observations, and significant questions remain unanswered. Here, we discuss the state of the field and pose some questions that, if answered, could speed the discovery of clinically useful peptide antibiotics.

Journal

The Journal of Membrane BiologySpringer Journals

Published: Jan 12, 2011

References

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