Special Issue "Antimicrobial Peptides as New Weapons to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Biopharmaceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Angela Arciello
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Via Cinthia 4, 80126 Naples, Italy
Interests: antimicrobial peptides; disease related proteins; antimicrobial resistance; food preservation; cosmeceutical formulations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It has been extensively reported that prolonged exposure to antibiotics is responsible for the development of multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs). Indeed, over the past four decades, there has been an explosion of so-called “superbugs”, such as vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, and Acinetobacter bacterial strains. It is also known that microbes in a biofilm community gain additional antibiotic resistance that can be up to 1000 times higher than that gained by the corresponding planktonic cells. Therefore, the emergence of resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents has become a serious public health threat with great social and economic impacts. It should also be highlighted that the discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of new antibiotics has significantly slowed down in the past 20 years. Thus, effective alternative strategies to conventional antibiotics are urgently needed.  Consequently, naturally occurring host defence peptides (HDPs), first called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), have attracted considerable attention because of their antimicrobial, anti-biofilm,  and immunomodulatory properties but, above all, because they generally do not lead to selection of resistant strains, since this would require an almost complete remodeling of the bacterial membrane architecture. To date, over 1700 endogenous antimicrobial peptides have been isolated, with even more synthetic analogues reported in the literature. Because of their diverse spectrum of activity against microbial pathogens, both as innate defence molecules and as immunomodulators, HDPs are attractive candidates for the development of a new generation of antibiotics. This Special Issue has the aim of summarizing the state of the art and the latest findings published in the field of antimicrobial peptides, as well as elucidating future directions of research.

Dr. Angela Arciello
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Peptide-based drugs
  • Antibiofilm peptides

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Impact of a Single Point Mutation on the Antimicrobial and Fibrillogenic Properties of Cryptides from Human Apolipoprotein B
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(7), 631; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14070631 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Host defense peptides (HDPs) are gaining increasing interest, since they are endowed with multiple activities, are often effective on multidrug resistant bacteria and do not generally lead to the development of resistance phenotypes. Cryptic HDPs have been recently identified in human apolipoprotein B [...] Read more.
Host defense peptides (HDPs) are gaining increasing interest, since they are endowed with multiple activities, are often effective on multidrug resistant bacteria and do not generally lead to the development of resistance phenotypes. Cryptic HDPs have been recently identified in human apolipoprotein B and found to be endowed with a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, with anti-biofilm, wound healing and immunomodulatory properties, and with the ability to synergistically act in combination with conventional antibiotics, while being not toxic for eukaryotic cells. Here, a multidisciplinary approach was used, including time killing curves, differential scanning calorimetry, circular dichroism, ThT binding assays, and transmission electron microscopy analyses. The effects of a single point mutation (Pro → Ala in position 7) on the biological properties of ApoB-derived peptide r(P)ApoBLPro have been evaluated. Although the two versions of the peptide share similar antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties, only r(P)ApoBLAla peptide was found to exert bactericidal effects. Interestingly, antimicrobial activity of both peptide versions appears to be dependent from their interaction with specific components of bacterial surfaces, such as LPS or LTA, which induce peptides to form β-sheet-rich amyloid-like structures. Altogether, obtained data indicate a correlation between ApoB-derived peptides self-assembling state and their antibacterial activity. Full article
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Article
Antimicrobial Peptides: Identification of two Beta-Defensins in a Teleost Fish, the European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(6), 566; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14060566 - 14 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Beta-defensins consist in a group of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), widely found throughout vertebrate species, including teleost fish, with antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities. However, although the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) is one of the most commercially important farmed fish species [...] Read more.
Beta-defensins consist in a group of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), widely found throughout vertebrate species, including teleost fish, with antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities. However, although the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) is one of the most commercially important farmed fish species in the Mediterranean area, the characterization of its beta-defensins and its potential applications are still missing. In this study, we characterized two members of the beta-defensin family in this species. Phylogenetic and synteny analysis places sea bass peptides in the beta-defensin subfamilies 1 and 2, sharing similar features with the other members, including the six cysteines and the tertiary structure, that consists in three antiparallel beta-sheets, with beta-defensin 1 presenting an extra alpha-helix at the N-terminal. Further studies are necessary to uncover the functions of sea bass beta-defensins, particularly their antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties, in order to develop novel prophylactic or therapeutic compounds to be used in aquaculture production. Full article
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Review

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Review
Investigating Potential Applications of the Fish Anti-Microbial Peptide Pleurocidin: A Systematic Review
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(7), 687; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14070687 - 17 Jul 2021
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Abstract
The anti-microbial peptide (AMP) pleurocidin is found in winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), an Atlantic flounder species. There is promising evidence for clinical, aquaculture, and veterinary applications of pleurocidin. This review provides an overview of the current literature available on pleurocidin to [...] Read more.
The anti-microbial peptide (AMP) pleurocidin is found in winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), an Atlantic flounder species. There is promising evidence for clinical, aquaculture, and veterinary applications of pleurocidin. This review provides an overview of the current literature available on pleurocidin to guide future research directions. By fully elucidating pleurocidin’s mechanism of action and developing novel treatments against pathogenic microbes, populations of flatfish and humans can be protected. This review consulted publications from PubMed and Environment Complete with search terms such as “pleurocidin”, “winter flounder”, and “antimicrobial”. The fish immune system includes AMPs as a component of the innate immune system. Pleurocidin, one of these AMPs, has been found to be effective against various Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. More investigations are required to determine pleurocidin’s suitability as a treatment against antibiotic-resistant pathogens. There is promising evidence for pleurocidin as a novel anti-cancer therapy. The peptide has been found to display potent anti-cancer effects against human cancer cells. Research efforts focused on pleurocidin may result in novel treatment strategies against antibiotic-resistant bacteria and cancer. More research is required to determine if the peptide is a suitable candidate to be developed into a novel anti-microbial treatment. Some of the microbes susceptible to the peptide are also pathogens of fish, suggesting its suitability as a therapeutic treatment for fish species. Full article
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