Next generation of antimicrobial peptides as molecular targeted medicines
Antibiotics have significantly improved our living environments. However, overuse of antibiotics has led to the emergence of multi-drug resistant microorganisms, and the subsequent constant demand for the exploration of novel antibiotics. To this end, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have attracted much attention as a novel class of antibiotics. AMPs have strong antimicrobial activity against a wide-range of species, including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi, and viruses. In addition, they are also effective against pathogenic organisms that are resistant to conventional drugs. Despite their great potential, the hemolytic activity and a highly broad spectrum of activity of AMPs dictate the need for amendments to develop safe pharmaceuticals. The human body contains commensal microflora as an integral part of complex mucosal surfaces that offers protection against pathogenic organisms. Administration of antibiotics with broad spectra of activity disrupts the indigenous microflora and increases the risks of diarrhea and other fatal infections. Therefore, it is difficult, but vital, to develop treatments capable of rapidly eliminating pathogenic organisms while maintaining the commensal microbiota. As such, novel pharmaceuticals, safe designer AMPs have been heavily researched. In this article, we review recent attempts to spatially and temporally regulate AMPs to enhance the quality-of-life of patients.
Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering - Volume 114, Issue 4, October 2012, Pages 365–370