Understanding the Potential Applications of Anti-Microbial Peptides
Anti-microbial peptides (AMPs) are biomolecules that were identified initially to have anti-microbial properties. AMPs usually contain several cationic and hydrophobic amino acids that contribute to their bioactivity. Further study of AMPs have shown that some AMPs also have anti-cancer and immune modulatory activity. Different terms are used to describe the biological activity of the peptide. The term anti-cancer peptides (ACPs) is used to describe peptides that are toxic to cancer cells but do not harm normal cells. The structure of AMPs and ACPs impact their mechanism of action; however, a better understanding of the structure-function relationship is needed for AMPs or ACPs to move forward into a clinical setting. There is an urgent need to discover novel treatments that are not associated with considerable toxicity to treat cancer and antibiotic resistant pathogens. Identification of suitable drug targets is a major obstacle in treatment strategies. The articles in this special issue should cover the important aspects examining potential applications of AMPs and ACPs, providing novel ideas for their use in the treatment of infection and cancer, identification, roles, and molecular mechanisms of action, and translational approaches.
Dr. Melanie R. Power Coombs
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