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Update of Peptides with Antibacterial Activity

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For many years a battle has been going on between bacteria and humans, with bacteria trying to survive against the antibiotics used by humans. Bacteria are found to be dominant in this battle since they can develop resistance. In fact, in the last decade multi-, extended- and pan-drug resistant bacteria have been isolated. On the other hand, the number of new antibiotics approved by the FDA has dramatically decreased during the last 20 years. Therefore, there is a desperate need for developing new types of antibacterial agents, where antimicrobial peptides may play an important role. This review provides an update of the recently identified antimicrobial peptides. Three valid approaches for developing a future antibacterial agent, as are the mechanisms of action as well as the in vitro and in vivo assays have been described in depth. In comparison to the antibacterial agents available at present, the targets for most of the antimicrobial peptides are not well known. However several proposals having been introduced for many antimicrobial peptides of different mechanisms of action, there still lies some uncertainty about their utility. Hundreds of antimicrobial peptides have been tested in vitro against all types of bacteria, but in this review we will highlight only those which have been tested against the most important Grampositive and Gram-negative bacteria. The last step to get a potential antibiotic includes studies with an in vivo model. Therefore only antimicrobial peptides with good activity are tested that have been described in this review.
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Keywords: Antimicrobial peptides; aggregate model; barrel model; buforin; carpet model; cecropin A; indolicidin; magainin II; mechanism of action; melittin; pexiganan; toroidal model; “in vitro” activity; “in vivo” activity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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