Host-defense Antimicrobial Peptides: Importance of Structure for Activity
Narasimhaiah Sitaram and Ramakrishnan Nagaraj
Affiliation: Centre for Cellular andMolecular Biology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 007, India
Keywords: Antimicrobial peptides, amphiphilic alpha-helical peptides, magainins magainin, buforin, seminalplasmin spln, melittin, indolicidin, tritrpticin, defensins
Antimicrobial peptides are important components of innate immunity in species across the evolutionary scale. Unlike therapeutically used antibiotics, this class of peptides exert their activity by permeabilizing bacterial membranes. Despite the seemingly common mechanism of action, there is considerable variation in their primary structures, length and number of positive charges. Host-defense antimicrobial peptides have been the subject of extensive biophysical studies with a view at delineate structural requirements for activity. In this article, the structures of host defence antibacterial peptides and the structural requirements for activity are reviewed.
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