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Proceedings Paper

Antimicrobial peptides: a review of how peptide structure impacts antimicrobial activity
Author(s): Jason W. Soares; Charlene M Mello
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Paper Abstract

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been discovered in insects, mammals, reptiles, and plants to protect against microbial infection. Many of these peptides have been isolated and studied exhaustively to decipher the molecular mechanisms that impart protection against infectious bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Unfortunately, the molecular mechanisms are still being debated within the scientific community but valuable clues have been obtained through structure/function relationship studies1. Biophysical studies have revealed that cecropins, isolated from insects and pigs, exhibit random structure in solution but undergo a conformational change to an amphipathic α-helix upon interaction with a membrane surface2. The lack of secondary structure in solution results in an extremely durable peptide able to survive exposure to high temperatures, organic solvents and incorporation into fibers and films without compromising antibacterial activity. Studies to better understand the antimicrobial action of cecropins and other AMPs have provided insight into the importance of peptide sequence and structure in antimicrobial activities. Therefore, enhancing our knowledge of how peptide structure imparts function may result in customized peptide sequences tailored for specific applications such as targeted cell delivery systems, novel antibiotics and food preservation additives. This review will summarize the current state of knowledge with respect to cell binding and antimicrobial activity of AMPs focusing primarily upon cecropins.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 March 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5271, Monitoring Food Safety, Agriculture, and Plant Health, (30 March 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.516171
Show Author Affiliations
Jason W. Soares, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (United States)
Charlene M Mello, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5271:
Monitoring Food Safety, Agriculture, and Plant Health
George E. Meyer; Yud-Ren Chen; Shu-I Tu; Bent S. Bennedsen; Andre G. Senecal, Editor(s)

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