Antimicrobial peptides and proteins are important means of innate host defense in eukaryotes. They have a broad ability to kill microbes. Large antimicrobial proteins (>100 amino acids) are often lytic enzymes, nutrient-binding proteins or contain sites that target specific microbial macromolecules. Small antimicrobial peptides affect the structure and/or function of microbial cell membranes. A multitude of antimicrobial peptides has been found in epithelial layers, phagocytes and body fluids of multicellular animals including man. Beside their role as endogenous antibiotics, antimicrobial peptides are involved in cytokine release, chemotaxis, angiogenesis, wound repair, and regulation of the adaptive immune system.
Expression of most antimicrobial peptides and proteins are increased during colitis or colonic infection. Some AMPs act as disease markers of colitis that predicts disease activity or response to therapy. The intimate association of AMP, microflora and immune regulation in the gut is still being extensively investigated. A few of AMPs had shown potential therapeutic effects in animal models by administration of exogenous antimicrobial peptides or protein. Development of new antimicrobial peptides for treating colitis is at an early stage and more information on peptide/protein stability, delivery method, efficacy and safety is much needed. More information about the role of AMPs in IBD/IBS see review: Ho, S et. al. Antimicrobial Peptides and Colitis. Curr Pharm Des. 2013, 19: 40.
For an overview of cationic antimicrobial peptides, origin, structure, functions, and mode of action of AMPs, which are highly expressed and found in humans, as well as a brief discussion about widely abundant, well characterized AMPs in mammals, in addition to pharmaceutical aspects and additional functions of AMPs, see Pasupuleti, M et al. Antimicrobial peptides: key components of the innate immune system. Crit Rev in Biotechnology 2012, 32:143.
More information about all our products: Antimicrobial product range.