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Current Pharmaceutical Design


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

Strategies for New Antimicrobial Proteins and Peptides: Lysozyme and Aprotinin as Model Molecules

Author(s): Hisham R. Ibrahim, Takayoshi Aoki and Antonio Pellegrini

Volume 8, Issue 9, 2002

Page: [671 - 693] Pages: 23

DOI: 10.2174/1381612023395349

Price: $65


The increasing development of bacterial resistance to traditional antibiotics has reached alarming levels, thus necessitating the strong need to develop new antimicrobial agents. These new antimicrobials should possess both novel modes of action as well as different cellular targets compared with the existing antibiotics. Lysozyme, muramidase, and aprotinin, a protease inhibitor, both exhibit antimicrobial activities against different microorganisms, were chosen as model proteins to develop more potent bactericidal agents with broader antimicrobial specificity. The antibacterial specificity of lysozyme is basically directed against certain Gram-positive bacteria and to a lesser extent against Gram-negative ones, thus its potential use as antimicrobial agent in food and drug systems is hampered. Several strategies were attempted to convert lysozyme to be active in killing Gram-negative bacteria which would be an important contribution for modern biotechnology and medicine. Three strategies were adopted in which membrane-binding hydrophobic domains were introduced to the catalytic function of lysozyme, to enable it to damage the bacterial membrane functions. These successful strategies were based on either equipping the enzyme with a hydrophobic carrier to enable it to penetrate and disrupt the bacterial membrane, or coupling lysozyme with a safe phenolic aldehyde having lethal activity toward bacterial membrane. In a different approach, proteolytically tailored lysozyme and aprotinin have been designed on the basis of modifying the derived peptides to confer the most favorable bactericidal potency and cellular specificity. The results obtained from these strategies show that proteins can be tailored and modelled to achieve particular functions. These approaches introduced, for the first time, a new conceptual utilization of lysozyme and aprotinin, and thus heralded a great opportunity for potential use in drug systems as new antimicrobial agent.

Keywords: Antimicrobial Proteins, Peptides, Lysozyme, Aprotinin, muramidase, gram-positive, gram-negative, gram-negative-bacteria, lysozme, anti gram-negative lysozyme/kwd, >, fatty-acylation

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