Special Issue "Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Guangshun Wang

Department of Pathology & Microbiology University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: host defense antimicrobial peptides; structural bioinformatics; biomolecular NMR

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Continued work on antimicrobial peptides, or innate immune peptides, has expanded their activity/function spectrum and opens new potential applications. Such activities are regularly annotated in the Antimicrobial Peptide Database (http://aps.unmc.edu/AP). To achieve a more comprehensive understanding of these activities, the journal Pharmaceuticals now invites valuable contributions that report original observations, or review these peptide activities. Select topics are listed below and you are welcome to generate a unique topic. This collection of manuscripts will be published as a Special Issue in the journal first and hopefully as an eBook later on. Investigators in the Antimicrobial Peptides AMP field or other related fields are encouraged to participate in this special event. Please email Dr. Guangshun Wang ([email protected]) if you would like to make a contribution.

  1. Expanding the horizon of antimicrobial peptides
  2. Antibacterial peptides: targeting gram-positive bacteria
  3. Antimicrobial peptides against gram-negative bacteria
  4. Anti-biofilm peptides
  5. Antiviral antimicrobial peptides
  6. Antifungal peptides
  7. Antiparasitic and antimalarial peptides
  8. Anticancer peptides
  9. Insecticidal peptides
  10. Spermicidal peptides
  11. Chemotactic antimicrobial peptides in immune modulation
  12. AMPs in wound healing
  13. Antimicrobial peptides with antioxidant activity
  14. Protease inhibitors
  15. Cell-penetrating peptides
  16. Surface immobilization of AMPs
  17. Synergy between AMPs
  18. Synergistic effects of AMPs and traditional antibiotics
  19. LPS-neutralizing peptides

Dr. Guangshun Wang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle pMPES: A Modular Peptide Expression System for the Delivery of Antimicrobial Peptides to the Site of Gastrointestinal Infections Using Probiotics
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9040060
Received: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 5 October 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides are a promising alternative to traditional antibiotics, but their utility is limited by high production costs and poor bioavailability profiles. Bacterial production and delivery of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) directly at the site of infection may offer a path for effective therapeutic [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides are a promising alternative to traditional antibiotics, but their utility is limited by high production costs and poor bioavailability profiles. Bacterial production and delivery of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) directly at the site of infection may offer a path for effective therapeutic application. In this study, we have developed a vector that can be used for the production and secretion of seven antimicrobial peptides from both Escherichia coli MC1061 F’ and probiotic E.coli Nissle 1917. The vector pMPES (Modular Peptide Expression System) employs the Microcin V (MccV) secretion system and a powerful synthetic promoter to drive AMP production. Herein, we demonstrate the capacity of pMPES to produce inhibitory levels of MccV, Microcin L (MccL), Microcin N (McnN), Enterocin A (EntA), Enterocin P (EntP), Hiracin JM79 (HirJM79) and Enterocin B (EntB). To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of such a broadly-applicable secretion system for AMP production. This type of modular expression system could expedite the development of sorely needed antimicrobial technologies Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Therapeutic Potential of Gramicidin S in the Treatment of Root Canal Infections
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9030056
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 7 September 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1953 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
An intrinsic clindamycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis, the most common single species present in teeth after failed root canal therapy, often possesses acquired tetracycline resistance. In these cases, root canal infections are commonly treated with Ledermix® paste, which contains demeclocycline, or the new [...] Read more.
An intrinsic clindamycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis, the most common single species present in teeth after failed root canal therapy, often possesses acquired tetracycline resistance. In these cases, root canal infections are commonly treated with Ledermix® paste, which contains demeclocycline, or the new alternative endodontic paste Odontopaste, which contains clindamycin; however, these treatments are often ineffective. We studied the killing activity of the cyclic antimicrobial peptide gramicidin S (GS) against planktonic and biofilm cells of tetracycline-resistant clinical isolates of E. faecalis. The high therapeutic potential of GS for the topical treatment of problematic teeth is based on the rapid bactericidal effect toward the biofilm-forming, tetracycline-resistant E. faecalis. GS reduces the cell number of planktonic cells within 20–40 min at a concentration of 40–80 μg/mL. It kills the cells of pre-grown biofilms at concentrations of 100–200 μg/mL, such that no re-growth is possible. The translocation of the peptide into the cell interior and its complexation with intracellular nucleotides, including the alarmon ppGpp, can explain its anti-biofilm effect. The successful treatment of persistently infected root canals of two volunteers confirms the high effectiveness of GS. The broad GS activity towards resistant, biofilm-forming E. faecalis suggests its applications for approval in root canal medication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview pH Dependent Antimicrobial Peptides and Proteins, Their Mechanisms of Action and Potential as Therapeutic Agents
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9040067
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are potent antibiotics of the innate immune system that have been extensively investigated as a potential solution to the global problem of infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microbes. A group of AMPs that are increasingly being reported are those that [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are potent antibiotics of the innate immune system that have been extensively investigated as a potential solution to the global problem of infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microbes. A group of AMPs that are increasingly being reported are those that utilise pH dependent antimicrobial mechanisms, and here we review research into this area. This review shows that these antimicrobial molecules are produced by a diverse spectrum of creatures, including vertebrates and invertebrates, and are primarily cationic, although a number of anionic examples are known. Some of these molecules exhibit high pH optima for their antimicrobial activity but in most cases, these AMPs show activity against microbes that present low pH optima, which reflects the acidic pH generally found at their sites of action, particularly the skin. The modes of action used by these molecules are based on a number of major structure/function relationships, which include metal ion binding, changes to net charge and conformational plasticity, and primarily involve the protonation of histidine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid residues at low pH. The pH dependent activity of pore forming antimicrobial proteins involves mechanisms that generally differ fundamentally to those used by pH dependent AMPs, which can be described by the carpet, toroidal pore and barrel-stave pore models of membrane interaction. A number of pH dependent AMPs and antimicrobial proteins have been developed for medical purposes and have successfully completed clinical trials, including kappacins, LL-37, histatins and lactoferrin, along with a number of their derivatives. Major examples of the therapeutic application of these antimicrobial molecules include wound healing as well as the treatment of multiple cancers and infections due to viruses, bacteria and fungi. In general, these applications involve topical administration, such as the use of mouth washes, cream formulations and hydrogel delivery systems. Nonetheless, many pH dependent AMPs and antimicrobial proteins have yet to be fully characterized and these molecules, as a whole, represent an untapped source of novel biologically active agents that could aid fulfillment of the urgent need for alternatives to conventional antibiotics, helping to avert a return to the pre-antibiotic era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
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Open AccessReview Antimicrobial Peptides Targeting Gram-Positive Bacteria
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9030059
Received: 22 July 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 13 September 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (2182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have remarkably different structures as well as biological activity profiles, whereupon most of these peptides are supposed to kill bacteria via membrane damage. In order to understand their molecular mechanism and target cell specificity for Gram-positive bacteria, it is essential [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have remarkably different structures as well as biological activity profiles, whereupon most of these peptides are supposed to kill bacteria via membrane damage. In order to understand their molecular mechanism and target cell specificity for Gram-positive bacteria, it is essential to consider the architecture of their cell envelopes. Before AMPs can interact with the cytoplasmic membrane of Gram-positive bacteria, they have to traverse the cell wall composed of wall- and lipoteichoic acids and peptidoglycan. While interaction of AMPs with peptidoglycan might rather facilitate penetration, interaction with anionic teichoic acids may act as either a trap for AMPs or a ladder for a route to the cytoplasmic membrane. Interaction with the cytoplasmic membrane frequently leads to lipid segregation affecting membrane domain organization, which affects membrane permeability, inhibits cell division processes or leads to delocalization of essential peripheral membrane proteins. Further, precursors of cell wall components, especially the highly conserved lipid II, are directly targeted by AMPs. Thereby, the peptides do not inhibit peptidoglycan synthesis via binding to proteins like common antibiotics, but form a complex with the precursor molecule, which in addition can promote pore formation and membrane disruption. Thus, the multifaceted mode of actions will make AMPs superior to antibiotics that act only on one specific target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
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Open AccessReview The Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in Influenza Virus Infection and Their Potential as Antiviral and Immunomodulatory Therapy
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9030053
Received: 28 June 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Influenza A virus (IAV) remains a major threat that can cause severe morbidity and mortality due to rapid genomic variation. Resistance of IAVs to current anti-IAV drugs has been emerging, and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been considered to be potential candidates for novel [...] Read more.
Influenza A virus (IAV) remains a major threat that can cause severe morbidity and mortality due to rapid genomic variation. Resistance of IAVs to current anti-IAV drugs has been emerging, and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been considered to be potential candidates for novel treatment against IAV infection. AMPs are endogenous proteins playing important roles in host defense through direct antimicrobial and antiviral activities and through immunomodulatory effects. In this review, we will discuss the anti-IAV and immunomodulatory effects of classical AMPs (defensins and cathelicidins), and proteins more recently discovered to have AMP-like activity (histones and Alzheimer’s associated β-amyloid). We will discuss the interactions between AMPs and other host defense proteins. Major emphasis will be placed on novel synthetic AMPs derived from modification of natural proteins, and on potential methods of increasing expression of endogenous AMPs, since these approaches may lead to novel antiviral therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
Open AccessReview Multiple Functions of the New Cytokine-Based Antimicrobial Peptide Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP)
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9030041
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 29 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (3780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a pleiotropic cytokine, hitherto mostly known to be involved in inflammatory responses and immunoregulation. The human tslp gene gives rise to two transcription and translation variants: a long form (lfTSLP) that is induced by inflammation, and a short, [...] Read more.
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a pleiotropic cytokine, hitherto mostly known to be involved in inflammatory responses and immunoregulation. The human tslp gene gives rise to two transcription and translation variants: a long form (lfTSLP) that is induced by inflammation, and a short, constitutively-expressed form (sfTSLP), that appears to be downregulated by inflammation. The TSLP forms can be produced by a number of cell types, including epithelial and dendritic cells (DCs). lfTSLP can activate mast cells, DCs, and T cells through binding to the lfTSLP receptor (TSLPR) and has a pro-inflammatory function. In contrast, sfTSLP inhibits cytokine secretion of DCs, but the receptor mediating this effect is unknown. Our recent studies have demonstrated that both forms of TSLP display potent antimicrobial activity, exceeding that of many other known antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), with sfTSLP having the strongest effect. The AMP activity is primarily mediated by the C-terminal region of the protein and is localized within a 34-mer peptide (MKK34) that spans the C-terminal α-helical region in TSLP. Fluorescent studies of peptide-treated bacteria, electron microscopy, and liposome leakage models showed that MKK34 exerted membrane-disrupting effects comparable to those of LL-37. Expression of TSLP in skin, oral mucosa, salivary glands, and intestine is part of the defense barrier that aids in the control of both commensal and pathogenic microbes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
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Open AccessReview Functions of Cationic Host Defense Peptides in Immunity
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9030040
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 4 July 2016
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cationic host defense peptides are a widely distributed family of immunomodulatory molecules with antimicrobial properties. The biological functions of these peptides include the ability to influence innate and adaptive immunity for efficient resolution of infections and simultaneous modulation of inflammatory responses. This unique [...] Read more.
Cationic host defense peptides are a widely distributed family of immunomodulatory molecules with antimicrobial properties. The biological functions of these peptides include the ability to influence innate and adaptive immunity for efficient resolution of infections and simultaneous modulation of inflammatory responses. This unique dual bioactivity of controlling infections and inflammation has gained substantial attention in the last three decades and consequent interest in the development of these peptide mimics as immunomodulatory therapeutic candidates. In this review, we summarize the current literature on the wide range of functions of cationic host defense peptides in the context of the mammalian immune system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
Open AccessReview Potential Use of Antimicrobial Peptides as Vaginal Spermicides/Microbicides
Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9010013
Received: 25 January 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 11 March 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3388 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concurrent increases in global population and sexually transmitted infection (STI) demand a search for agents with dual spermicidal and microbicidal properties for topical vaginal application. Previous attempts to develop the surfactant spermicide, nonoxynol-9 (N-9), into a vaginal microbicide were unsuccessful largely due [...] Read more.
The concurrent increases in global population and sexually transmitted infection (STI) demand a search for agents with dual spermicidal and microbicidal properties for topical vaginal application. Previous attempts to develop the surfactant spermicide, nonoxynol-9 (N-9), into a vaginal microbicide were unsuccessful largely due to its inefficiency to kill microbes. Furthermore, N-9 causes damage to the vaginal epithelium, thus accelerating microbes to enter the women’s body. For this reason, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), naturally secreted by all forms of life as part of innate immunity, deserve evaluation for their potential spermicidal effects. To date, twelve spermicidal AMPs have been described including LL-37, magainin 2 and nisin A. Human cathelicidin LL-37 is the most promising spermicidal AMP to be further developed for vaginal use for the following reasons. First, it is a human AMP naturally produced in the vagina after intercourse. Second, LL-37 exerts microbicidal effects to numerous microbes including those that cause STI. Third, its cytotoxicity is selective to sperm and not to the female reproductive tract. Furthermore, the spermicidal effects of LL-37 have been demonstrated in vivo in mice. Therefore, the availability of LL-37 as a vaginal spermicide/microbicide will empower women for self-protection against unwanted pregnancies and STI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides: Expanded Activity Spectrum and Applications)
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