Antimicrobial peptides

Ali Adem Bahar, Dacheng Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

494 Scopus citations

Abstract

The rapid increase in drug-resistant infections has presented a serious challenge to antimicrobial therapies. The failure of the most potent antibiotics to kill "superbugs" emphasizes the urgent need to develop other control agents. Here we review the history and new development of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), a growing class of natural and synthetic peptides with a wide spectrum of targets including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. We summarize the major types of AMPs, their modes of action, and the common mechanisms of AMP resistance. In addition, we discuss the principles for designing effective AMPs and the potential of using AMPs to control biofilms (multicellular structures of bacteria embedded in extracellular matrixes) and persister cells (dormant phenotypic variants of bacterial cells that are highly tolerant to antibiotics).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1575
Number of pages33
JournalPharmaceuticals
Volume6
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 28 2013

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Biofilm
  • Persister

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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