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Current Topics in Peptide & Protein Research   Volumes    Volume 13 
Natural antimicrobial peptides as promising anti-HIV candidates
Guangshun Wang
Pages: 93 - 110
Number of pages: 18
Current Topics in Peptide & Protein Research
Volume 13 

Copyright © 2012 Research Trends. All rights reserved

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection remains to be one of the major global health problems. It is thus necessary to identify novel therapeutic molecules to combat HIV-1.  Natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been recognized as promising templates for developing topical microbicides. This review systematically discusses over 80 anti-HIV peptides annotated in the antimicrobial peptide database (http://aps.unmc.edu/AP). Such peptides have been discovered from bacteria, plants, and animals. Examples include gramicidin and bacteriocins from bacteria, cyclotides from plants, melittins and cecropins from insects, piscidins from fish, ascaphins, caerins, dermaseptins, esculentins, and maximins from amphibians, and cathelicidins and defensins from vertebrates. These peptides appear to work by different mechanisms and could block viral entry in multiple ways. As additional advantages, such anti-HIV peptides may possess other desired features such as antibacterial, antiparasital, spermicidal, and anticancer activity.  With continued optimization of peptide stability, production, formulation and delivery methods, it is anticipated that some of these compounds may eventually become new anti-HIV drugs.
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