Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2012
Publication Date: April 4, 2012
Citation: Rajasekaran, K., Cary, J.W., Jaynes, J.M., Montesinos, E. 2012. Preface. In: Rajasekaran, K., Cary, J.W., Jaynes, J.M., Montesinos, E., editors. Small Wonders: Peptides for Disease Control. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC: Oxford University Press, Inc. p. ix-xi.
This Preface Chapter for an ACS Symposium Series book summarizes the important technical advances made on the use of small peptides in control of human and plant diseases. The use of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as agents in therapeutic and agricultural applications is nearing reality. More than 1700 natural AMPs from a wide range of life forms ranging from prokaryotes to humans have been characterized to date and many of these have served as templates for the rational design of synthetic peptides with improved potency, specificity, stability, and bioavailability. AMP technology has tremendous implications for the development of novel therapeutics and plant protective strategies. This chapter highlights contributions by internationally acclaimed scientists with a focus on therapeutic and agricultural applications. Promising medical applications of peptide technology include treatments for bacterial, fungal and viral infections. In humans, peptides that modulate the host’s adaptive immune response will not be recognized by the invading pathogen as a defense factor and therefore will not be prone to development of resistance by the pathogen. Agricultural applications include control of devastating plant diseases caused by microbial pathogens, some of them resulting in mycotoxin contamination of food and feed products. This summary will be useful to graduate students and scientists interested in development and application of peptide technology for disease control.