Because the resistance of microorganisms to the available antibiotics is a growing healthcare problem worldwide, the search for new antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that provide useful therapeutic options has been increasing in importance. Many initial candidates have had to be discarded after having advanced to the preclinical and clinical stages. This has led to substantial losses in terms of time and money. For that reason, the essential characteristics of AMPs (i.e. their activity, selectivity, stability in physiological conditions and low production cost) must be considered in their design. In addition, peptides could be active against several kinds of cells with activity and selectivity resulting from interaction with multiple target cell components, which sometimes are present in mammalian cells as well. Thus, the cellular composition is important in the AMP-target cell interaction and must be considered in the design of AMPs, too. This review describes general aspects of AMP design, limitations concerning their therapeutic application, and optimization strategies for overcoming such limitations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical