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La Revue de medecine interne

[Cationic anti-microbial peptides: from innate immunity study to drug development].


PMID 15363618

Abstract

Host defense, cationic anti-microbial peptides are recognized as an important component of innate immune response in most multicellular organisms. They are cationic amphipathic peptides, comprising 20-50 amino acids. Several hundreds of peptides have been characterized. They have broad spectrum of activity against bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens. The mode of action is best known for cecropins and magainins, which act upon the cytoplasmic membrane of microorganisms, causing its disruption by a detergent like activity and pore formation. Several of these peptides or analogs (from magainin, protegrin, indolicidin and histatin) are in advanced clinical development, especially for localized infections. Several other molecules (rBPI, heliomicin and thanatine) are currently under development for various systemic infections. They may represent important drugs of the further anti-infectious therapeutic arsenal.

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