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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Antimicrobial Compounds of Low Molecular Mass are Constitutively Present in Insects: Characterisation of β-Alanyl-Tyrosine

Author(s): K. Meylaers, A. Cerstiaens, E. Vierstraete, G. Baggerman, C. W. Michiels, A. De Loof and L. Schoofs

Volume 9, Issue 2, 2003

Page: [159 - 174] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/1381612033392279

Price: $65


The number of bacterial and fungal strains that have developed resistance against the classical antibiotics continues to grow. The intensified search for new antibiotic lead compounds has resulted in the discovery of numerous endogenous peptides with antimicrobial properties in plants, bacteria and animals. Their possible applications as anti-infective agents are often limited by their size, in reference to production costs and susceptibility to proteases. In this article, we report recent isolations of antimicrobial compounds from insects, with molecular masses less than 1 kDa. Experimental approaches are discussed and the first data on the antimicrobial properties of β-alanyl-tyrosine (252 Da), one of such low molecular mass compounds isolated from the fleshfly Neobellieria bullata, are presented. We also offer evidence for the constitutive presence of antimicrobial compounds in insects of different orders, in addition to the previously identified inducible antimicrobial peptides.

Keywords: Antimicrobial Compounds, Alanyl-Tyrosine, Neobellieria bullata

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