Cathelicidin peptides are a numerous group of mammalian cationic antimicrobial peptides. Despite a common evolutionary origin of their genes, peptides display a remarkable variety of sizes, sequences and structures. Their spectra of antimicrobial activity are varied and cover a range of organisms that includes bacteria, fungi and enveloped viruses. In addition, they bind to and neutralize the effects of endotoxin. These features make this family of peptides good candidates in view of a therapeutic use. The most promising ones are currently under evaluation as leads for the development of novel anti-infectives, and synthetic variants are in an advanced stage of development for specific clinical applications. This review focuses on recent studies on the structure and in vitro and in vivo biological activities of these peptides.
Keywords: Cathelicidin Peptides, Antimicrobials, anti-infective drugs, cationic antimicrobial peptides, protegrins, indolicidin, protegrin, vancomycin-resistant enterococcus faecalis
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