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Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030068

Bioinspired Designs, Molecular Premise and Tools for Evaluating the Ecological Importance of Antimicrobial Peptides

1
Department of Biotechnology, Technische Universität Berlin, Ackerstraße 76, ACK24, D-13355 Berlin, Germany
2
Aquatic Ecotoxicology in an Urban Environment, Ecosystems and Environment Research Program, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Niemenkatu 73, FI-15140 Lahti 2, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
3
Korean Institute of Science & Technology Europe, Joint Laboratory of Applied Ecotoxicology, Campus E7 1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choices of the Journal)
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Abstract

This review article provides an overview of recent developments in antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), summarizing structural diversity, potential new applications, activity targets and microbial killing responses in general. The use of artificial and natural AMPs as templates for rational design of peptidomimetics are also discussed and some strategies are put forward to curtail cytotoxic effects against eukaryotic cells. Considering the heat-resistant nature, chemical and proteolytic stability of AMPs, we attempt to summarize their molecular targets, examine how these macromolecules may contribute to potential environmental risks vis-à-vis the activities of the peptides. We further point out the evolutional characteristics of the macromolecules and indicate how they can be useful in designing target-specific peptides. Methods are suggested that may help to assess toxic mechanisms of AMPs and possible solutions are discussed to promote the development and application of AMPs in medicine. Even if there is wide exposure to the environment like in the hospital settings, AMPs may instead contribute to prevent healthcare-associated infections so long as ecotoxicological aspects are considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial peptides; ecotoxicity; bacteriocins; therapeutic; polyproline helix; membrane disruption antimicrobial peptides; ecotoxicity; bacteriocins; therapeutic; polyproline helix; membrane disruption
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ongey, E.L.; Pflugmacher, S.; Neubauer, P. Bioinspired Designs, Molecular Premise and Tools for Evaluating the Ecological Importance of Antimicrobial Peptides. Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11, 68.

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