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Opinion

Compelling Evidence for the Activity of Antiviral Peptides against SARS-CoV-2

by 1,2, 3,4 and 1,2,5,*
1
Institute for Insect Biotechnology, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Giessen, Germany
2
LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics (LOEWE-TBG), Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany
3
Department of Virology, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, CZ-62100 Brno, Czech Republic
4
Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Parasitology, Branisovska 31, 37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
5
Department of Bioresources, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Ohlebergsweg 12, 35392 Giessen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jeroen van Kampen and Pieter L. A. Fraaij
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050912
Received: 7 April 2021 / Revised: 9 May 2021 / Accepted: 12 May 2021 / Published: 14 May 2021
Multiple outbreaks of epidemic and pandemic viral diseases have occurred in the last 20 years, including those caused by Ebola virus, Zika virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The emergence or re-emergence of such diseases has revealed the deficiency in our pipeline for the discovery and development of antiviral drugs. One promising solution is the extensive library of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced by all eukaryotic organisms. AMPs are widely known for their activity against bacteria, but many possess additional antifungal, antiparasitic, insecticidal, anticancer, or antiviral activities. AMPs could therefore be suitable as leads for the development of new peptide-based antiviral drugs. Sixty therapeutic peptides had been approved by the end of 2018, with at least another 150 in preclinical or clinical development. Peptides undergoing clinical trials include analogs, mimetics, and natural AMPs. The advantages of AMPs include novel mechanisms of action that hinder the evolution of resistance, low molecular weight, low toxicity toward human cells but high specificity and efficacy, the latter enhanced by the optimization of AMP sequences. In this opinion article, we summarize the evidence supporting the efficacy of antiviral AMPs and discuss their potential to treat emerging viral diseases including COVID-19. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; coronavirus; antimicrobial peptides; antiviral peptides; defensins SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; coronavirus; antimicrobial peptides; antiviral peptides; defensins
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tonk, M.; Růžek, D.; Vilcinskas, A. Compelling Evidence for the Activity of Antiviral Peptides against SARS-CoV-2. Viruses 2021, 13, 912. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050912

AMA Style

Tonk M, Růžek D, Vilcinskas A. Compelling Evidence for the Activity of Antiviral Peptides against SARS-CoV-2. Viruses. 2021; 13(5):912. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050912

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tonk, Miray, Daniel Růžek, and Andreas Vilcinskas. 2021. "Compelling Evidence for the Activity of Antiviral Peptides against SARS-CoV-2" Viruses 13, no. 5: 912. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050912

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