Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is projected as one of the greatest threats to human health in the future. Hence there is a great need to find alternatives to current antibiotics. Since their discovery in the late 1980s, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been viewed as one of the important solutions to the impending AMR crisis. However, only few antimicrobial peptides are used as therapeutics, due to problems such as toxicity, short circulation half-life, and rapid kidney clearance.
In recent years, AMPs have been found to function in a variety of ways: they not only directly kill bacteria, but can modulate the immune response, demonstrate anti-cancer activity and inhibit or eradicate biofilms. In this presentation, we will discuss the lessons learned from studying the naturally occuring AMPs aurein 2.2 and 2.3, as well as synthetic analogues PKSKS-73 and -77.