Antimicrobial Peptides Isolated from Insects
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague
Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) which kill microbes by a fundamentally different mechanism of action than do traditional antibiotics are a new category of compounds capable of fighting resistant pathogens. The cationic AMP isolated from insects comprise a significant group among those 2000 peptides already registered in The Antimicrobial Peptide Database. The novel AMP include lucifensins the insect defensins isolated from medicinal larvae of flies which are routinely used in maggot therapy and AMP ranking among ?-helical amphipathic peptides isolated from the venom of stinging hymenopterans. The AMP isolated from the venom show strong antimicrobial activities and low or moderate toxicity to eukaryotic cells. Systematic structure modification of these naturally occurring AMP resulted in their analogs with enhanced antimicrobial activities.
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