|De Lucca Ii, Anthony|
Submitted to: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Not applicable.
Technical Abstract: The need for safe and effective antifungal agents increases in parallel with expanding number of immunocompromised patients at risk for invasive fungal infections, as well as the need to design safe antifungal (anti-pest) peptide genes for incorporation into agricultural crops. The emergence of fungal pathogens resistant to current therapies further compounds the dearth of antifungal agents. Currently, available antifunga compounds act on targets also found in mammalian cells, which may result in toxicity or adverse drug interaction. It is, therefore, imperative to find antifungal compounds that are not toxic to mammalian cells. The past decade has witnessed a dramatic growth in knowledge of natural peptides. Some of these peptides, such as the cecropins, were shown to be antimicrobial but not lethal for mammalian cells. The preponderence of data on the antimicrobial properties of peptides concerns bacteria. This review presents the current literature on antifungal peptides, including their in vitro and in vivo activity, mechanisms of actions, and structure-function relationships, where known.