The increasing frequency of multi-drug resistant microorganisms has driven the research towards alternative therapeutic strategies. In this respect, natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) hold much promise as candidates for the development of novel antibiotics. However, AMPs have some intrinsic drawbacks, such as partial degradation by host proteases or inhibition by host body fluid composition, potential toxicity, and high production costs. This review focuses on hepcidins, which are peptides produced by human liver with a known role in iron homeostasis, as well as from numerous other organisms (including fish, reptiles, other mammals), and their potential as antibacterial and antifungal agents. Interestingly, antimicrobial properties of human hepcidins are enhanced at acidic pH, rendering these peptides appealing for the design of new drugs targeting infections that occur in body districts with physiologic acidic pH. This review not only considers current research on the direct killing activity of these peptides, but evaluates the potential application of these molecules as coating agents preventing biofilm formation and critically assesses technical obstacles preventing a therapeutic application.

Insights into the Antimicrobial Properties of Hepcidins: Advantages and Drawbacks as Potential Therapeutic Agents

MAISETTA, GIUSEPPANTONIO;BATONI, GIOVANNA
Penultimo
;
TAVANTI, ARIANNA
Ultimo
2015

Abstract

The increasing frequency of multi-drug resistant microorganisms has driven the research towards alternative therapeutic strategies. In this respect, natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) hold much promise as candidates for the development of novel antibiotics. However, AMPs have some intrinsic drawbacks, such as partial degradation by host proteases or inhibition by host body fluid composition, potential toxicity, and high production costs. This review focuses on hepcidins, which are peptides produced by human liver with a known role in iron homeostasis, as well as from numerous other organisms (including fish, reptiles, other mammals), and their potential as antibacterial and antifungal agents. Interestingly, antimicrobial properties of human hepcidins are enhanced at acidic pH, rendering these peptides appealing for the design of new drugs targeting infections that occur in body districts with physiologic acidic pH. This review not only considers current research on the direct killing activity of these peptides, but evaluates the potential application of these molecules as coating agents preventing biofilm formation and critically assesses technical obstacles preventing a therapeutic application.
Lombardi, Lisa; Maisetta, Giuseppantonio; Batoni, Giovanna; Tavanti, Arianna
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/744100
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